Optimism remains in difficult times
Spring is on the way and the days are growing longer.
Farmers are benefiting from an exceptionally mild winter, with grass coming away well.
Even the most recent global dairy trade auction included some positive indications.
While these are all reasons to be cheerful, a degree of pessimism still permeates the dairy sector.
Some commentators suggest that banks will be compelled to manage some of their dairy farming clients towards exiting the industry.
However, there is still little evidence of that locally.
If farmers were being forced to sell up, those of us in the rural property sector would be the first to know.
My PGG Wrightson Real Estate colleagues elsewhere also report that, while there is plenty of gloomy talk, very few farms are coming to the market under pressure from the bank.
While this may change, at the moment, financiers seem prepared to assist farmers through their challenges.
That said, this is undoubtedly a difficult time for many dairy farmers.
Whether we are looking at the light at the end of the tunnel or a train bearing down on us can be a question of perspective.
In periods like this, some farmers will inevitably have to walk away from their businesses.
As and when any local folk find themselves in a predicament of this sort, they and their families will need all the compassion and support the rest of us can offer.
Nationally, Real Estate Institute rural property statistics paint a picture of a stable market.
By sales value and volume, finishing, grazing, arable and horticultural properties are all maintaining the status quo.
Meanwhile, Real Estate Institute figures show the lifestyle and residential property sectors continue to forge ahead, with no sign of easing up during the Spring period.
Paul O’sullivan is Bay of Plenty and Central Plateau Real Estate Manager for PGG Wrightson Real Estate Ltd.