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Farm sales re-fuel interest in rural property

Media Release
2 November 2008

Mega-million dollar farm sales re-fuel interest in prime rural property

Two of the highest-priced farms sold in New Zealand this year have re-fuelled interest in the rural property sector.

Hillend Station - a 2,665 hectare property on the shores of Lake Wanaka – has just sold for $25 million plus GST to TradeMe founder Sam Morgan. And in the central North Island, a dairy property near Taupo has sold for $22 million as a going concern. Both properties were marketed by leading real estate company Bayleys.

Bayleys country manager Richard Graham said: “While the current economic climate has led to a slowdown in some sales, we are still seeing good levels of interest in many rural properties, driven primarily by positive longer term forecasts for agriculture and the uncertainty in financial markets.

“This is especially evident with some of the larger scale or unique properties that have been marketed by Bayleys. Hillend Station, for example, attracted a high level of interest with a number of serious local buyers identified,” Mr Graham said.

Hillend Station was successfully marketed by Bayleys sales consultants Trevor Mackay and Mat Andrew on behalf of Infinity Investment Group. Mr Mackay says the property, which includes 31 lifestyle block titles and consents for a 41-lot farm park, is “the most strategically located high country station in the South Island.”

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“It’s a working station with 4000 stock units, but was sold primarily for its development options and lifestyle aspects. It’s a very large and beautiful property on the doorstep of one of New Zealand’s most important tourist destinations, and could be developed as a farm park with a lake, lodge, vineyard and winery,” Mr Mackay said.

The farm park concept would allow buyers to hold individual titles to their own plot while co-owning the entire property. However, Mr Mackay says the buyer has not yet decided on his options and sees the property as a holding investment.

Meanwhile just north of Taupo, Bayleys sold the 540 hectare Poihipi Pastures dairy farm, for $22 million as a going concern.

Vendors Amanda and Roger Garland – who have farmed in the area for about nine years – were approached by another local dairy farmer who had recently developed seven farms in the area, and wanted their property to expand his business.

The Garlands contacted Bayleys sales consultant Paul O’Sullivan to broker the deal, having worked with him on the purchase and sale of nine properties over 15 years.

“While Poihipi Pastures wasn’t even on the market, the offer made was substantial enough for Roger and Amanda to consider selling. Sales of this size don’t usually happen so quickly, but the purchaser made such a good offer that after some minor negotiation, everything was signed in a matter of days.” Mr O’Sullivan says.

The property was sold in two titles with 383,000 Fonterra shares, 1,500 cows, two milking sheds, and five houses. The Garlands had developed 230 hectares of the property from pine forest into dairying status. The property employs seven staff, who will continue to work on the farm.


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