Property report: Palpable change in the rural market
October 2023

Property report: Palpable change in the rural market

With the weekend yielding both an All Blacks quarter-final win in the Rugby World Cup and a change in Government, plus a fourth positive Global Dairy Trade auction in a row three days later, the mood is buoyant in rural New Zealand.

PGG Wrightson’s General Manager for Real Estate, Peter Newbold, has noticed a palpable change in sentiment on the ground.

“I’ve been out in the field a bit over the last few days and when you see, in my opinion, positive change, [you see] a new level of enthusiasm,” he told The Country’s Jamie Mackay.

“Then you see the AB’s doing really well, and suddenly people’s motivation changes - they start to make decisions.

“When you feel good, generally that means you will move forward.”

A lot of signs that determined when buyers purchased property were favourable, according to Newbold.

“There has been a higher level of interest in dairy, and if you look at where the payout is going, that’s a positive sign,” he said.

“Cattle prices...are pretty good. Sheep’s low, but when it’s low, it can only go one way [and] inflation looks stable.”


A number of forestry conversion sales had been turned down recently, which in turn had a big impact on market values, Newbold said.

“I think there’s a period where we’re going to see less activity [in forestry], and the sheep and beef sector will go back to more what I would call normal values.”

As the spring selling period progressed, Newbold remained encouraged by the quality of listings on the market.

“One thing that’s pretty clear is, if I look at the number of listings we’ve got, [and] the quality of the listings - I haven’t seen anything like that for some time.

“A lot of them are really top-line properties, [with] good capacity - [and a] good future for someone who comes into it.”

Newbold also spoke about his recent visit to Mount Aspiring Station, which he described as “a treat.”

“It’s amazing to witness what they do to live and manage a property like that,” he said.

“When you think of the weather, physical and mental requirements, remoteness, getting the kids to school, running your power on a water turbine - it was just a standout.

The other interesting aspect for Newbold was the way the Mount Aspiring team valued the environment and how they protected the land they operated on.

“Sometimes New Zealanders need to understand that it’s not the exception - there’s a lot of them out there doing that.”

Peter Crean
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