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Rural Update December 23

While there has been a slow start to spring from a rural sales perspective across Canterbury, the Bayleys Canterbury country sales team is certainly seeing more positivity coming through from our network than we have noted at any time for the past 12-months.


We have brokered record sales in the region over the past few months, along with several other properties currently under contract. These are due to settle by Christmas and early into the new year.

Although prices for beef, milk, and dairy products may be lower now than they have been for several years, the appetite for primary produce and the rural land which sustains that production, will increase in line with the fortunes of global economies in Asia and Europe.

The firmer dairy milk solid price range being forecast by Fonterra is looking higher than previously, and as the rural property market in Canterbury ebbs and flows off the back of confidence in the dairy sector, this indication bodes well for 2024.

With the world’s population continuing to grow, more people will need more food. From that perspective, those in, or looking to enter the primary produce sector in Canterbury, will factor in this long-term demand into their property purchasing decisions.

Latest rural property sales data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand notes that:

  • For the three months ended September 2023, the national median sales price per hectare for dairy farms was $34,325, with the median dairy farm size coming in at 115-hectares.
  • For the three months ended September 2023, the national median sale price per hectare for finishing farms was $38,330, with the median finishing farm size coming in at 38-hectares.
  • For the three months ended September 2023, the national median sale price per hectare for grazing farms was $11,700, with the median grazing farm size coming in at 165-hectares.
  • For the three months ended September 2023, the median sale price per hectare for horticulture farms was $324,210, with the median horticulture farm size coming in at six-hectares.

Just to note though, for Canterbury these figures are somewhat skewed as we have some of have largest areas of irrigated land in New Zealand, so our averages are generally higher – particularly in the dairying, and dairy support categories, while finishing blocks often straddle the lifestyle market.

As with most business sectors in New Zealand, Canterbury’s farmers have warmly welcomed the change in Government – including the appointment of Andrew Hoggard into the Associate Minister of Agriculture and for the Environment, jobs where he brings a wealth of ‘hands-on’ experience.

One issue emerging from the recent election commentary which went relatively unacknowledged, was the intention to grow trading pathways with the fast-emerging market in India – with large numbers of this population eating lamb and beef, drinking milk and consuming value-added products such as clarified butter and yoghurt.

With summer now with us, the Surfing for Farmers mental initiative is underway in four locations across Canterbury. Bayleys Real Estate is proud to be a supporter of this programme over the past few years. Surfing For Farmers is a unique opportunity for farmers to take a break from their all-consuming businesses and challenge themselves in a new activity, enjoy fresh sea air, exercise and connect with fellow farmers, rural families, and industry professionals.

Surfing for Farmers operates at four locations within our province – Gore Bay in North Canterbury, Sumner Beach in Central Christchurch, Hickory Bay in Southern Canterbury and just south of the border into Otago in Kakanui. More information can be found at

Bayleys Canterbury wishes our rural clients and customers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. If over the holiday break you decide that 2024 may be the year to look at buying or selling in the Canterbury rural property market, feel free to get in touch with any of the Bayleys Canterbury Country sales team – whose contact details are contained alongside the listings in this edition of Selection magazine.

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