Northland farm sales up

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Values of Northland horticultural properties have shown a significant lift, with the Real Estate Institute reporting strong returns driving up prices for free-draining land suitable for avocados, particularly in the Kaitaia area.

Twenty farms were sold in Northland for the three months to March 31 - five dairy units, two finishing and 10 grazing blocks and three horticulture properties.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) figures show there were 438 farm sales nationally in the three months to March this year - 55 more than in the same period last year.

"Record rainfall, flooding and lack of sunlight apart, most areas throughout New Zealand have experienced very good mid-autumn conditions during March," REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.

"Feed conditions have been ideal for beef and lamb, maize harvesting has progressed well and the burst of grass growth has stimulated sufficient milk supply to offset the worst spring many can remember.

"Values of horticultural properties show a significant lift, but prices in other categories reflect a degree of volatility, buyer caution and a hint of easing."

Commenting on Northland sales for the three months to March, the REINZ says good dairy farms in good locations sold well, but demand for second tier properties was weak and a shortage of good finishing properties was resulting in some dairy farmers looking at lower category dairy units.

There was reduced activity on blocks suitable for honey production with less emphasis on planting manuka, and the REINZ says strong returns are driving up prices for free-draining land suitable for avocado production, particularly in the Kaitaia area.

The five Northland dairy units sold for the three months to March fetched a median price of $10,245 a hectare - substantially down on the $17,629/ha median for Northland dairy farm sales for the three months to February and the $13,616/ha sales median at this time last year.

The national median for 99 dairy farms averaging 98ha sold for the three months to March was $37,066/ha.

The two Northland finishing farms sold fetched $12,900/ha, well down on the $44,302/ha median for sales to February and the $26,186/ha median for sales at this time last year. The national median for finishing farm sales for the three months to March was $19,642/ha.

The 10 Northland grazing blocks sold for the three months to March fetched a median price of $21,468/ha, a big jump from the $6493/ha February sales median and the $7515/ha median for grazing block sales at this time last year.

The three Northland horticulture properties sold for the three months to March brought a median price of $198,469/ha. The national sales median for March sales was was $301,250/ha.

Meanwhile, 99 Northland lifestyle properties sold for the three months to March fetched a median $450,000; up on the February median of $395,000 and around the same as the $447,000 median for Northland lifestyle block sales at this time last year.

There were 150 lifestyle block sales in the Auckland region for the three months to March (median sales price $1,333,500) and 882 lifestyle block sales nationally reached a new record high of $625,000 - $73,000 higher than at the same time last year.

The REINZ reported a strong Northland lifestyle market in the $250,000-$400,000 range with particular demand for sensibly priced properties and any with features such as stand-out presentation, bush, water and views.¦

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