RTTNews - Friday, a report from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed that the number of farms sold in the three months to May was 288, up from 266 in the three months to April and 231 in the three months ended March.

REINZ National Councilor and rural spokesperson Peter McDonald said, this steady increase is very pleasing. Although we have a way to go to return to the turnover we were seeing at this time two and three years ago when sales were in the 600 - 700 range, the fact we are not trending down is good to see.

Moreover, McDonald said that despite the adjusted Fonterra payout to NZ$4.55, the number of dairy farms sold in the three months to May has risen by more than 25%. This showed that the rural market was holding firm.

As activity continues to increase, the trends in rural real estate are following a similar pattern to those we are seeing in the residential market of a returning confidence, McDonald pointed out.

The median price of farms improved to NZ$1,150,000 in the the three months to May from NZ$1,042,500 in the three months to April.

Meanwhile, there was also a steady increase in the number of lifestyle properties sold. The number increased to 1,353 in the three months to May from 1,178 in the three months ended April. In March, 1,041 properties were sold.

McDonald pointed out that lifestyle blocks again remained consistent performers. Three consecutive rises in turnover are a good indication of the return to a more buoyant environment, the councilor added.

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