Property report: ‘Challenging’ rural market remains subdued
June 2024

Property report: ‘Challenging’ rural market remains subdued

Activity in the rural real estate market remains subdued, with around 30% less buyer activity than 12 months ago.

That’s according to PGG Wrightson General Manager of Real Estate, Peter Newbold, who floated the figure in his monthly interview with The Country’s Jamie Mackay.

Newbold identified “challenging” farm prices as one reason behind the decline, along with an ongoing discrepancy between the current market and vendor expectations.

In particular, sheep and beef property sales remained lower than usual, but Newbold felt that vendors who were both realistic about prices and prepared to meet the market, were the ones experiencing success.

“To be brutally honest, it’s been really tough…yesterday’s prices aren’t relevant anymore,” he said.

Newbold carried more optimism for the dairy sector and said while running costs were up, “the signs were positive”.

He expected to see more listings once farmers made it through the winter months and busy spring calving period.

“There is more confidence [in dairy], and if you look at some of the projections…it doesn’t look too bad,” he said.

“Dairy has a good future.”

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While Zespri this week announced a record kiwifruit crop, orchard listings also remained low.

Newbold said he had seen minimal movement in the appraisals space and a low volume of listings for the coming season, but with good harvests he expected the market to “come right”.

“Like all these things, you actually don’t want it to boom - we just want steady growth,” he said.

In terms of lifestyle properties, Newbold estimated that sales were around 15% lower than usual.

In its heyday, lifestyle was around a $9 billion market but had been hit relatively hard over the last 12 to 18 months.

With the boom experienced during the global Covid-19 pandemic firmly in the rearview mirror, Newbold expected it would only fire again “once those metropolitan areas start to move forward”.

Also in today’s interview: Mackay congratulated PGG Wrightson on 42 years of involvement with the IHC Calf and Rural Scheme.

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