22 Jul 2014

Dairy farm sales down

6:59 am on 22 July 2014

Farm sales have eased off a bit, particularly for dairy farms, but they are still ahead of this time last year.

The latest figures from the Real Estate Institute show 70 more farms were sold in the three months ending in June than in the same period last year and sales for the year to date are up by more than 27 percent on the previous year.

The median price is also up.

But sales have dipped compared with the previous three-month period and the most significant drop has been in dairy farm sales, with 26 fewer dairy properties changing hands.

The institute's rural spokesman, Brian Peacocke, doubts that falling dairy prices had much influence on that, because they have been more recent.

"Largely it's a seasonal drop-off. Once you get into June, all the farm settlements for the year would have occurred at the end of May and so we'll get a reducing degree of activity over the next several months and it won't really pick up again until we get into the spring," he says.

"Apart from that in the latter stages, there's probably a little bit of evidence emerging of the likelihood of a reduction in the payout coming through, and people are taking note of the signals for increased interest rates and the dollar is at a very high level, consistently high, so you know, there's just a few reasons for caution at the moment."

Mr Peacocke says grazing properties for dairy support remain in strong demand.