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April Rural Data: Rural Sales On The Rise

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) provides insights into the rural real estate market, revealing that there were 20 less farm sales (-7.8%) for the three months ended April 2024 than for the three months ended April 2023. Overall, there were 235 farm sales in the three months ended April 2024, compared to 223 farm sales for the three months ended March 2024 (+5.4%), and 255 farm sales for the three months ended April 2023.

920 farms were sold in the year to April 2024, 317 less than were sold in the year to April 2023, with 31.4% less Dairy farms, 18.9% less Dairy Support, 39.3% less Grazing farms, 23.2% less Finishing farms and 7% more Arable farms sold over the same period.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to April 2024 was $27,280 compared to $28,100 recorded for three months ended April 2023 (-2.9%). The median price per hectare increased by 2.7% compared to March 2024.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index decreased 1.1% in the three months to April 2024 compared to the three months to March 2024 and 13.1% compared to the three months ending April 2023. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location, and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.

Three regions recorded an increase in the number of farm sales for the three months ended April 2024 compared to the three months ended April 2023, with the most notable being Gisborne/Hawkes Bay and Wellington (+9 sales). Otago ( -12 sales) and Southland ( -10 sales) recorded the biggest decreases in sales. Compared to the three months ended March 2024, 7 regions recorded an increase in sales, the most notable being Waikato (+7 sales) and Gisborne/Hawkes Bay (+5 sales).

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Shane O’Brien, Rural Spokesman at REINZ, commented on the regional dynamics: "The elevated interest rates and unfavourable farm product prices have led to a general decline in farming sales across multiple sectors. This is not dissimilar to what happened in the three months ending April 2023. The decline in sales is particularly notable in the forestry sector (-34.1% compared to three months ending April 2023) and in dairy support sales (-25.0% compared to the three months ending April 2023).”

In April 2024, Finishing farms accounted for a 26% share of all sales. Grazing farms accounted for 22% of all sales, Dairy farms accounted for 18% of all sales and Horticulture farms accounted for 9% of all sales. These four property types accounted for 74% of all sales during the three months ended April 2024.

Dairy Farms

For the three months ended April 2024, the median sales price per hectare for dairy farms was $34,720 (42 properties), compared to $34,740 (47 properties) for the three months ended March 2024, and $38,945 (44 properties) for the three months ended April 2023. The median price per hectare for dairy farms has decreased 10.8% over the past 12 months. The median dairy farm size for the three months ended April 2024 was 133 hectares.

On a price per kilo of milk solids basis the median sales price was $35.00 per kg of milk solids for the three months ended April 2024, compared to $32.30 per kg of milk solids for the three months ended March 2024 (+8.4%), and $37.59 per kg of milk solids for the three months ended April 2023 (-6.9%).

The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index decreased 4.1% in the three months to April 2024 compared to the three months to March 2024. Compared to April 2023, the REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index decreased 10.8%. The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size and location compared to the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.

Finishing Farms

For the three months ended April 2024, the median sale price per hectare for finishing farms was $32,450 (61 properties), compared to $28,760 (57 properties) for the three months ended March 2024 and $37,450 (58 properties) for the three months ended April 2023. The median price per hectare for finishing farms has decreased 13.4% over the past 12 months. The median finishing farm size for the three months ended April 2024 was 50 hectares.

Grazing Farms

For the three months ended April 2024, the median sales price per hectare for grazing farms was $13,240 (52 properties), compared to $13,310 (53 properties) for the three months ended March 2024 and $13,230 (79 properties) for the three months ended April 2023. The median price per hectare for grazing farms has increased 0.1% over the past 12 months. The median grazing farm size for the three months ended April 2024 was 111 hectares.

Horticulture Farms

For the three months ended April 2024, the median sales price per hectare for horticulture farms was $331,855 (20 properties), compared to $327,450 (19 properties) for the three months ended March 2024 and $339,195 (14 properties) for the three months ended April 2023. The median price per hectare for horticulture farms has decreased -2.2% over the past 12 months. The median horticulture farm size for the three months ended April 2024 was 7 hectares.

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