Damp spring delays farm selling season
A tough spring has put a dampener so far on the rural real estate market despite a surge in dairy farm listings in Waikato.
Industry experts blamed the cold and wet spring for a delayed start to the spring selling season when market activity usually lifted.
Sales had been slow and nationally listings were down, PGG Wrightson Real Estate general manager Peter Newbold said.
A quiet winter selling period, tighter lending criteria from banks, a new government that had signalled changes to the Overseas Investment Act and terrible weather in the North Island which made showcasing any farms on the market extremely challenging.
They had all put uncertainty in the market, despite how well the primary sector was performing. There was also a level of adjustment occurring between buyers and vendors over where values sat in the dairy sector, he said.
‘‘The challenge will be when they come to market is where people see the value. The one thing that is still clear is that quality properties always sell.’’
Listings for the rest of the country were at normal levels or below, he said.
The exception was Waikato. Among reasons why vendors chose to sell, retirement was a common theme.
‘‘They have put off putting the succession process into play and they have to get on with their lives [and sell]. This was always going to happen because a lot of rural New Zealand is an older demographic.’’
He said there were signs that the market was slowly beginning to pick up. Good farms were still selling strongly and the sale of Olrig Station in Hawke’s Bay, which was sold at auction for $10.170 million, had generated interest.
The latest farm sale statistics from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand are expected to be released in the next few days and Newbold predicted they would confirm the slow start to spring.
Earlier this month, REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said there was a more optimistic outlook for the dairy payout after two tough seasons and that made selling a more attractive prospect.
There has been a lift in dairy farms for sale in Waikato, however activity is much quieter throughout the rest of New Zealand.