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Record-Breaking Lifestyle Block Sales For May 2003

Record-Breaking Lifestyle Block Sales For May 2003

The rural lifestyle block market is going from strength to strength, the 770 sales recorded during May 2003 breaking all previous sales records, according to the latest statistics released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The 770 lifestyle blocks that changed hands in May sold for a combined value of $233.9 million at a median sales price of $240,000.

REINZ rural spokesperson, Murray Cleland, said demand for this type of rural property was strongly linked with the urban residential housing market, which is currently performing strongly.

"While total sales increased by 92 from the 678 recorded in April, and 176 from the 594 sales in May 2002, the median sales price eased $10,000 from last month and very slightly improved on the $239,000 recorded in May 2002. This month-to-month easing in median is however not surprising, given the significantly increased level of sales. ”

On month-to-month comparison, the sales of lifestyle blocks increased in nine of the country’s fourteen regions, most markedly in Auckland where sales lifted to 159 from the 126 reported in the previous month. Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington, Southland and Canterbury also recorded improved sales levels. Improved median prices were recorded in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington, West Coast and Otago.

Despite predicting relatively low sales from now until spring, both the sales volume and median price for New Zealand farms has remained remarkably strong during May, the anticipated seasonal slowdown not evidenced in this months figures.

The national sales volume for farms in May was 275, compared to the April sales volume of 254 and the May 2002 volume of 262.

Mr. Cleland said that the latest figures were pleasing, given that many commentators – on both rural property and the rural economy - had predicted a much more subdued rural economy over the next twelve to eighteen months.

He said, “Whilst the Institute maintains an expectation that the rural property market will stabilise during 2003, the latest figures demonstrate a much higher level of rural confidence than generally thought possible, especially given the sector’s recent challenges, such as the impact of an appreciating NZ dollar on commodity export prices. It’s a very positive indication of the upbeat attitude of the rural sector.”

The national median farm sale price for May was $750,000 compared to April at $700,000, and the May 2002 median of $643,750.

The demand for dairy properties firmed on both month-to-month and year-to-year comparison, with 45 properties changing hands during May, compared to 39 in April 2003 and 37 in May 2002.

Dairy property values eased very slightly from last month but improved on last year, with the May 2003 median sale price for dairy properties at $1,500,000, down from the $1, 550,000 recorded in April 2003 and up on the $1,018,000 recorded in May 2002.

The horticultural property national median price rose on year-to-year and month-to-month comparison, with 35 sales at a median of $750,000 in May compared to 49 sales at $650,000 in April 2003 and 35 sales at a median of $575,000 in May 2002.

Finishing property sales eased on year-to-year comparison, but rose from last month, with 36 sales in May 2003 and 29 in April 2003, compared to 38 sales in May 2002. The median price fell from last month and last year with $973,000 recorded in May 2002 and $1,150,000 in April 2003, compared to $945,000, in May 2003.

One hundred and thirty grazing properties sold in May, twenty more than the 110 sales in April and consistent with the sales recorded in May 2002. The median sale price was up from last month and last year - from $505,000 in May 2002 and $522,500 in April 2003, to the $570,000 recorded in May 2003.

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