After tough times, Hawke’s Bay and East Coast rural property market stabilising
June 2024

After tough times, Hawke’s Bay and East Coast rural property market stabilising

After 2023 presented huge challenges to the region, this winter and the spring to come should see more normal conditions return to the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast rural property market.

Approaching 18 months on from Cyclone Gabrielle, Paul Harper, PGG Wrightson Real Estate Lower North Island Real Estate Manager is anticipating the return of more positive sentiment.

“While farmers in the rest of the country are also doing it tough, in our region the lingering effects of the cyclone have added an extra layer of challenge.

That said, there are some positives to indicate that the market will be busier in the coming months.

"At any given time, having reached that age and stage of life, some farmers will be looking to exit. In Hawke’s Bay we now have a larger group of them than usual. Some were thinking of selling at least four years ago, though initially held back because they wanted to capitalise on the excellent returns prevailing back then. When the cyclone hit and markets started heading down, that scenario flipped over, and it was still the wrong time to sell farmland, though now for the opposite reasons.

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“Several of those farmers are preparing to go to the market in spring, expecting values to have settled at an acceptable and realistic level, though those farmers remain patient and will not sell unless the price is right,” he says.

A handful of farms throughout the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay will be offered for spring sale on this basis, with more likely to come on stream later in the year.

Meanwhile Paul Harper says the region’s horticulture sector is also reawakening after Gabrielle.

“Immediately after the cyclone the region’s orchardists were focused on recovery, then on maximising production from repaired properties. For an extended period buying or selling land was not a serious consideration.

“More recently however a significant horticulture transaction involving two large industry players transferred ownership of some 240 hectares, a mix of freehold and leased orchards. Despite the challenges around returns and cost escalations, on top of cyclone related issues, this provided a positive signal for orchardists.

“As we are with sheep and beef properties, we are looking forward to a lift in spring market activity in horticulture. After such significant transactions, we expect more orchard listings than we have seen for a while,” he says.

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Paul Harper says PGG Wrightson Real Estate is ready to provide objective advice to anyone interested in buying or selling Hawke’s Bay or East Coast rural or lifestyle property.

“We have added several highly qualified rural property specialists in the past few months, and are well placed to assist, whether that be in sheep and beef, horticulture, forestry or lifestyle property,” he says.

Gary Brooks joined PGG Wrightson Real Estate in early 2024 as branch manager, Hastings. He has an illustrious 27 year career marketing real estate, during which time he has overseen more than $500 million dollars’ worth of rural property sales.

Having run his own family business while also farming a small property and apple orchard, Hamish Goodwin likewise joined PGG Wrightson Real Estate in early 2024. Based in Hastings, Hamish has built and fostered solid relationships within the community, which he looks forward to furthering on behalf of those seeking to buy or sell rural property.

Another recent addition to the PGG Wrightson Real Estate team, Hawke’s Bay raised John Menneer now lives in Wairoa on a 330-hectare sheep and beef farm, so also brings a strong affinity with primary production, most recently in land and property development, public infrastructure management, and business development.

“As a long established rural-based real estate company here on the East Coast, we recognise the importance of an experienced selling team, especially in a more challenging market such as we are currently experiencing. We are very pleased with the calibre of the team. They bring vast experience when guiding and advising our clients through the sales process,” says Paul Harper.


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