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Otago has recorded the largest increase nationally for the number of farm sales in the three months ended December, compared to the same period in 2012.
Data released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed the region was up 32 sales, followed by Southland (up 30) and Waikato (up 25). The 59 farms were mostly grazing and finishing properties.
Nationally, there were 292 more sales (up 20.1%) for three months ended December than for the same period in 2012.
There were 1746 farms sold in the year to December 2013, which was the largest number of sales in a 12-month period since February 2009.
The results reflected strong confidence in the rural sector and the combination of incremental price increases and ongoing demand for quality properties was a sign those positive trends would continue into 2014, REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to December was $24,163, compared to $23,070 for the corresponding period in 2012.
There was a very healthy market for dairy properties, with 121 sales for the three months ended December and an increase of 52 sales on the three months ended November, the result of activity in Northland, Waikato, Taranaki and Canterbury.
There was a strong lift in the drystock sector with Manawatu-Wanganui, and Otago, being the stand-out regions. Steady horticulture property sales continued in the Bay of Plenty, Mr Peacocke said.
There had also been a steady increase in sales of lifestyle properties over the past six months. The national median price of $520,000 was reaching a new high and it was an indication of the healthy market activity.
Northland, Taranaki, Nelson-Marlborough and Southland all experienced increased sales volumes, he said.