As spring takes shape throughout the country, it’s timely to remind ourselves of what investing in Canterbury’s rural sector means as new property opportunities appear.
Primarily, an investment made in Canterbury’s rural land today is an investment in the long-term and future of not only the region, but the sector as a whole. The ‘hard yards’ experienced by many in Canterbury’s rural productive sector have been undertaken by landowners in recent years as they’ve knuckled down and repaid debt while interest rates were low. In the case of dairy owners, they optimised high payouts to reinvest on-farm, leaving them in a better position to move through another cycle, and invested substantial sums in regulatory compliance infrastructure and programmes.
Consequently, a good percentage of Canterbury’s rural sector is now in a much better position to face the road ahead than many other parts of the country. Notably, the debt profile of the sector looks quite different to five years ago – albeit while mortgage levels are lower interest rates are higher, generally leading to a neutralisation of any bottom-line benefits. This has been reinforced by the confidence we have seen from buyers going into spring with the early dairy farm sales transacting at or about last season’s values. We believe this trend will continue based on the number of enquiries and farm inspections across the campaigns currently up and running.
This was further reinforced by the recent sale of a 50 percent shareholding in a Central Canterbury dairy farm by Craig Blackburn from Bayleys Canterbury. The offering received numerous enquiries locally, nationally, and internationally. This showed a strong appetite to invest in New Zealand’s dairy sector and a mature approach from investors looking at the long-term benefits being part of the industry.
The positive response to the dairy farm campaigns run through Bayleys Canterbury is also being replicated in the sheep, beef and grazing properties sectors, with several unsuccessful buyers still in the market from the autumn and winter period.
The quality and diversity of properties being offered across the region as we move into the summer period have certainly seen increased activity, and with the imminent change to a more rural-friendly Government, we have already seen more enthusiasm around the future of the agricultural sector - as once again it will be recognised as one of this country’s most important industries.
Meanwhile, in the lifestyle market, the value of existing lifestyle properties is being preserved given that highly productive land now has greater controls by statute, with those layers of protection likely to constrain further subdivision and growth beyond city green belts.
These market shifts require the Bayleys Country team to be adaptable to ensure we have the capability and networks to deliver the right outcomes for our clients, and as recognition of what we achieve for our clients, we were delighted to receive all six of the awards in the rural category at the 2023 Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Awards for Excellence. These accolades also include celebrating the success of our colleague, Adam Whitelock, who won the Rural Salesperson of the Year Rising Star accolade. Operating out of our Central Christchurch office, Adam has quickly embraced the ‘Bayleys Way’ of doing business and getting the best results possible for our vendors in the process.
After weathering the quieter winter period, the Bayleys Canterbury’s rural team is focused on getting on with business. Our primary focus is to transact property on behalf of our clients however and our community connections really matter to us.
That connectivity – providing practical support and celebrating success – is more important than ever, and we are proud of our alliances with the likes of Surfing for Farmers, The Rural Support Trust, and the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Each of these rurally- grounded community initiatives provide tangible support of rural New Zealand.
If you are at all considering the sale of your rural property, contact one of the Bayleys Canterbury Country sales team today to ensure you receive the best advice possible to begin the process.