Out-of-town­ers can’t com­pete


Waikato dairy­ing and grazing blocks go­ing on the mar­ket for sale are re­main­ing un­der the own­er­ship of lo­cal farm­ers who are far bet­ter fi­nan­cially re­sourced than their coun­ter­parts from other New Zealand prov­inces, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est batch of ru­ral real es­tate sales data.

Bay­leys has sold 11 of the 15 di­ary and grazing farms in the re­gion to have gone un­der the auc­tion­eer’s ham­mer over the past two months – with Waikato farm­ers out­bid­ding hope­fuls from Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, North­land, South­land, and the Bay of Plenty on ev­ery oc­ca­sion.

Bay­leys Waikato coun­try man­ager Mark Dawe said that while ‘‘out of town’’ bid­ders were ac­tive on many of the farms go­ing up for auc­tion, they sim­ply couldn’t foot it fi­nan­cially with the ‘‘lo­cal boys’’.

This has been the busiest quar­terly sales pe­riod since 2007, he said.

‘‘The value be­ing achieved for high­lypro­duc­tive ru­ral land in the Waikato is now far ahead of the rest of New Zealand. It’s like com­par­ing the Auck­land res­i­den­tial prop­erty mar­ket to the rest of the coun­try – there’s us, then there’s the rest . . . with a big gap in be­tween.

‘‘The per hectare sales value for the Waikato farms which have gone un­der the ham­mer over the past two months varies greatly from prop­erty to prop­erty – based on lo­ca­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, and type of farm. Of those fac­tors though, lo­ca­tion is prob­a­bly big­gest de­ter­mi­na­tion – with ac­cess to wa­ter be­ing an im­por­tant part of that,’’ he said.

‘‘Our data shows most of the suc­cess­ful buy­ers al­ready owned farms in the Waikato, with half of the grazing blocks pur­chased by farm­ers who had sold up their big­ger dairy­ing op­er­a­tions but who wanted to re­main both in the prov­ince and in the dairy support sec­tor.’’

Dawe said the sales data re­flected there was par­tic­u­larly strong buyer de­mand for dairy­ing units in the $3mil­lion to $6m bracket, while support blocks were well sup­ported in the $1m to $1.7m range.

He said that while farm val­ues were fairly static com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, the num­ber of farms be­ing sold was up 30 per cent.

SALES STRONG: Farm sales in the Waikato are at their busiest level since 2007.

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