There were 46 more farm sales (+11.7 per cent) for the three months ended December 2018 compared to December 2017, according to figures released by the Real Estate Institute.
Overall, there were 440 farm sales in the three months ended December 2018, compared to 336 for the three months ended November 2018 (+31 per cent).
A total of 1505 farms were sold last year, 3.8 per cent fewer than in 2017, with 19 per cent less dairy farms, 1.3 per cent more grazing farms, 3.9 per cent more finishing farms and 3.1 per cent fewer arable farms sold over the same period.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to December 2018 was $27,288, compared to $29,266 recorded for three months ended December 2017 (-6.8 per cent).
Institute rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke says sales volumes for the thee month period ending December 31 were stronger in all categories compared to the previous three month period, apart from horticulture sales, which eased by 12 per cent.
“From a climatic perspective, most regions enjoyed more rain than the norm, with resulting benefits to livestock via strong pasture growth – maize crops, in particular, which have experienced the best growing conditions recorded for some years,” Mr Peacocke says.
“Morale throughout the rural sector is generally very good, with solid levels of production in the dairy sector, strong prices for sheep and beef, and continuing optimism for output in the horticultural sector.
“The major constraint balancing such optimism is the dramatic shortage of labour throughout the country, a factor which is impacting negatively on all sectors in the rural economy.”