The rural sector is angry and frustrated over Government policies, according to the Real Estate Institute (REINZ).
Data from REINZ shows there were three fewer farm sales for the three months ended October 2019 than for the three months ended October 2018.
Overall, there were 260 farm sales in the three months ended October 2019, compared to 270 farm sales for the three months ended September 2019 (-3.7 percent), and 263 farm sales for the three months ended October 2018.
REINZ rural spokesman, Brian Peacocke said sales volumes for the 2019 period confirmed that dairy farm sales were consistent with the equivalent period for the last two years, but were well down on the same period in 2017.
"Finishing property sales are down considerably, grazing and horticultural sales have slowed to a lesser degree, but the stand-out category is arable, which is comfortably ahead of two years ago and almost double compared to the equivalent period 12 months ago," he said.
He said the relatively good spring conditions throughout much of the country was cause for quiet satisfaction for those who had either increased production or were achieving good increases in weights for lamb and beef.
"In spite of such factors, there appears to be a mood of frustration and even anger throughout the rural sector at the advancement of one government-promoted freshwater policy after another, to the consternation of cost-impacted recipients," he said.
Banks were also impacting on the rural sector, said Peacocke.
"Sheltering behind such issues is the dark elephant in the room - the banking industry, which surprisingly in view of the extremely low interest rates, is less than subtly erecting barriers to frustrate rural borrowers, and in the process risking a potential major drop in farm values as increasing numbers of landowners seek to exit the industry."
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October 2019 was $25,637 compared to $27,121 in 2018 (-5.5 percent).
The median price per hectare decreased 0.5 percent compared to September 2019.