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Farms spruce up for spring

NZR agent Blair Stevens has just launched the marketing of Patakanui, a 306ha finishing block in Martinborough. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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Some of Wairarapa’s rolling pastures are expected to be up for sale as the season for farm listings loom.

After a lucrative autumn season, and after the expected lull over winter, two Wairarapa rural real estate agents are expecting a busy spring.

There were 65 farms sold in the eight months to the end of August — 30 of which were sold in autumn.

In March, the median sale price for farms across Wairarapa, including Tararua, was $1.75m, according to REINZ rural data released on Wednesday.

However, only one farm was sold in the region in August.

Most farms come on the market in the next few weeks when spring weather boosts the appearance of farms, and farmers have got through lambing and calving.

The aim is to have a result by Christmas.

Sheep and beef farmers typically take over in February to claim the full income from the lamb crop and for dairy farmers the takeover is typically June.

Masterton-based Patrick & Scott Real Estate principal Andy Scott said he saw an influx in farm sales from January to April this year.

All were different circumstances, but farmers looking to retire was a common reason, he said.

“The rural economy is ticking along pretty nicely – there’s an increase in activity and there are people out there wanting to buy,” Mr Scott said.

Traditionally, land values in Wairarapa were lower than other traditional areas in the country, he said.

“Wairarapa is quite a conservative area as far as sales go and when we do market them, we get a lot of interest,” Mr Scott said.

“We marketed one in Mauriceville last year and it was sold to a buyer from Taupo.”

Mr Scott said Tararua turns over more farm sales due to the number of dairy farms in the district.

“From Eketahuna to Norsewood, there is some marginal country in there. It comes a bit cheaper but turns over a bit more.”

Thirty-six farms were sold in the Tararua District over the past eight months, with a median price of $1.35m.

Wairarapa NZR real Estate agent Blair Stevens has been involved in the rural sector as a rural banker and registered farm valuer for about 20 years, and said the recent autumn has been his busiest period yet.

“Things are looking better this coming spring, as far as dairy farming and the payout is concerned.

“There seems to be a wee bit of excitement and hype in the sheep and beef market too,” Mr Stevens said.

Up until about two years ago, Wairarapa had strong interest shown by South Island sheep and beef farmers who had generally sold to dairy farming interests and bought larger sheep and beef farms in the region.

While this hasn’t been the case recently, Mr Stevens suspects that if the dairy farm market lifts again, this trend could reignite.

That coupled with other positive signs in the sheep and beef industry could bring a “reasonably strong market this spring”.

Mr Stevens said there is a mix of buyers in the market.

Last autumn, of the five sizeable units he sold, an Aucklander bought one at Tora, an American bought a coastal property, and three went to local farmers.




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