Farm sales continue decline

New Zealand farm sales have fallen for the third consecutive month and are down 10 per cent compared to last year, according to figures out today.

The Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) said there were 30 fewer farm sales in the three months ended October 2012 than in the same period last year.

A total of 256 farms were sold over the three-months, compared with 269 in the three months to September, and 318 in the three months to August.

Numbers are up on a yearly basis though, with a total of 1,410 farms sold in the year to October 2012, which is 28.6 per cent more than the previous year, the REINZ data showed.

The drop in sales last month was more a reflection of the timing of sales at the start of spring than a sign of any particular trend, said REINZ spokesman Brian Peacocke.

"Based on the levels of activity in October we would expect a lift in sales in November as properties go unconditional.

"Levels of listings are generally good, although several regions report insufficient stocks of good sheep and beef properties to meet buyer demand."

Dairy farms stocks are currently higher than demand in some areas, he said.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October rose 10.1 per cent compared to the previous three months, from $18,041 to $19,872.

Compared to October 2011, the median price per hectare increased by 5.3 per cent.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index rose by 5.3 per cent compared to September, from 2,708.97 to 2,852.46.

Compared to October 2011, the index increased by 6 per cent.

Only three regions saw an increase in sales compared to September, led by Nelson with three more.

Grazing properties accounted for the majority of sales, making up 50.4 per cent of total sales over the three months.

- By Ben Chapman-Smith of Herald Online

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