Property Report: Rural buyers optimistic about farming’s future
September 2023

Property Report: Rural buyers optimistic about farming’s future

Long-term confidence in primary sector returns is keeping the rural real estate market afloat, despite current headwinds.

That’s the message from PGG Wrightson Real Estate’s Canterbury manager Peter Crean. Farming has a good future, he told The Country’s Jamie Mackay.

“The world’s population is growing hugely and the food has to come from somewhere.

“So, long-term, people view farming and buying farms as a good investment, and that’s proved to be the case [in the past].”

However, present market factors, such as higher interest rates and low commodity prices for most sectors, except deer, still weighed on buyer’s minds, he said.

“But at the end of the day, it is what it is.”

Crean said farm values were holding up well.

“Most of our buyers…are farming people. They may have sold a farm and are looking to scale up or scale down, or they may be wishing to add to their existing portfolio.

“Those sort of people, our farmers, they’ve got confidence in the long-term future.”



Listings were also still flowing through, despite the upcoming election, he said.

“Everyone knows about it and it’s something that vendors and purchasers are mindful of, but at the end of the day it’s not going to stop anybody putting their farm on the market because, by the time the election has come and gone, it would be too late to market your farm this spring.”

Crean said some sectors were represented well in early listings, while others had yet to see activity.

“It looks like this spring is going to be more of a sheep and beef market, with a wee bit of cropping.

“We’ve got a wee bit of dairy support, [but] not too much in the way of dairy farms at present.”

Changes to environmental regulation were influencing sales which, according to Crean, had led to an increase in value for dairy support blocks.

“At the end of the day, they’re probably not making any more winter support properties, so if they are consented, it’s a good bonus for those that are selling.”

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