Australian farm sales drop 26% in October compared to last year

Its latest data shows an overall drop in farm sales in the past three months, compared to last year.

There were 92 - or 26 percent fewer - farm sales for the period ending October, compared to the same period in 2016.

It said 1,649 farms were sold in the year to October 2017, 6.3 percent fewer than were sold in the year to October 2016.

But the Real Estate Institute's rural spokesman, Brian Peacocke, said arable and horticultural land wasn't following the same trend.

He said there was an increase in listings and sales, particularly in Canterbury.

"There's been a very strong push into the top quality soils in the Canterbury area, and that has been taking place over the last several months.

"It may be that the shortage of supply of that quality of land has bought that about because in years gone by the dairy industry has competed heavily for that land... and at this stage the dairy industry is not expanding as it had previously, so we're seeing a resurgence of cropping."

Horticulture had a very strong month in the Bay of Plenty, particularly in the Paengaroa district, where top prices for gold kiwifruit orchards exceeded $1 million per canopy hectare, he said.

"With the returns that are coming through from gold kiwifruit that's a strong incentive for investors to pursue those types of properties for investment purposes.


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