Data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand shows that the median sale price per hectare for horticulture farms has decreased 30.3% over the past 12 months.
The price fell from $538,575 for the three months ended February 2022 to $375,140 for the three months ended February 2023.
The figures are based on the sales of 33 properties and 13 properties respectively.
The median horticulture farm size for the three months ended February 2023 was 5170ha.
The median price per hectare on sales of other farm types over the past 12 months all had increases. Dairy was up 8.9%, finishing farms values jumped 18.8% and grazing farms lifted 6.9%.
Grazing farms accounted for a 32% share of all sales for February. Dairy farms accounted for 24% of all sales, finishing farms accounted for 24% of all sales and dairy support farms accounted for 7% of all sales. Those four property types accounted for 87% of all sales during the three months ended February 2023.
The data shows overall that rural land buyers are taking a cautious approach to land purchases on the back of higher interest rates, government uncertainty and rising farm input costs.
Overall, there were 305 farm sales in the three months ended February 2023, compared to 460 farm sales over the same three months last year.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to February 2023 was $31,830 compared to $29,990 recorded for the three months ended February 2022. The median price per hectare decreased 2.9% compared to January 2023.
REINZ rural spokesperson Shane O’Brien said the lower sales volumes are following a lower than usual number of listings of farms for sale during summer and early autumn.
“However, the recorded sales are still at strong levels and comparable to 12 months earlier particularly for well-developed farm properties.”
O’Brian said the recent land grab for forestry seems to have slowed in most areas.
Buyer demand is still being noted in the horticultural and viticultural areas, with recent events in Hawke’s Bay possibly affecting buyer decisions in the short to medium term.
“Buyers are very mindful of market conditions as we head into an election year. The gloomy outlook for farm product prices this season and inflation affecting farm operating costs are squeezing profitability margins and debt servicing ability for farmers.
“While buyers are still present in all markets, they are being very considered in their buying decisions.”