The number of farms sold across the country has continued its downward trend, led by a drop in dairy and finishing farms.
Data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showed there were 56 less farm sales (-13.4 percent) for the three months ended April 2019 than for the three months ended April 2018.
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REINZ Rural spokesperson, Brian Peacocke, said the data reflected a continuation of the trend in sales volumes evident over recent months.
"Compared to the equivalent period in 2018, sales volumes for dairy and finishing farms are well down, grazing units have increased, arable and horticulture properties are holding par," he said.
"From a regional perspective, provinces such as Marlborough have recovered well and are experiencing a very good autumn whilst other regions, particularly throughout the Waikato, Hawke's Bay and central to lower North Island are experiencing restricted pre-winter feed supplies in spite of having received modest levels of rain," said Peacocke.
He said in contrast, Southland has had sufficient moisture to cause paddocks to become almost too damp.
Overall, there were 362 farm sales in the three months ended April 2019, compared to 331 farm sales for the three months ended March 2019 (+9.4 percent), and 418 farm sales for the three months ended April 2018.
In the year to April 2019, 1,443 farms were sold - 1.7 percent fewer than were sold in the year to April 2018, with 31.3 percent less dairy farms, 22.0 percent more grazing farms, 9.3 percent less finishing farms and 5.7 percent more arable farms sold over the same period.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to April 2019 was $22,624 compared to $27,309 recorded for three months ended April 2018 (-17.2 percent). The median price per hectare decreased 3.2 percent compared to March 2019.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index fell 4.2 percent in the three months to April 2019 compared to the three months to March 2019. Compared to April 2018 the REINZ All Farm Price Index rose 5.7 percent.
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.