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Building on a great legacy


Bayleys has championed rural property for a quarter of a century, growing a formidable sales team and creating a market-leading multi-channel portfolio – so how’s 2024 shaping up?

Bayleys’ legacy in rural New Zealand does, however, run far deeper than this. Prior to establishing Bayleys more than 50 years ago with their son John Bayley, founders Graham and Pam Bayley had been sheep and beef farmers at Nihoniho in the King Country, before moving to Taneatua in the Bay of Plenty to own a dairy farm and a sheep and beef runoff.

This connection with the land runs deep in our blood. With a team of 105 rural agents working passionately from the far north to the deep south, our focus is to deliver the best outcomes throughout the rural market, regardless of market cycles, and we’re proud to be the most awarded rural real estate brand in the country.

The conditions in the rural sector over the past 12 months have been some of the toughest since those unsettling GFC days. The sector certainly hasn’t been alone in confronting the impact of high inflation on soaring wage and operating costs. A change of government is here, and while certain segments of the rural sector were holding out hope for significant structural change for the better, the reality is inflation remains the enemy as it continues to hold up the cost of debt and agitates on-farm profitability.

That’s in parallel with the compliance and regulatory pressures that had accelerated throughout the sector. Despite wishful thinking, and a change at the helm, it's highly likely the regulatory goalposts won’t move too far.

It’s not the first time it’s been stated, and certainly won’t be the last – New Zealand is among the best and most efficient primary producers in the world and we need to ensure confidence remains in the underlying productivity of all the rural sectors.

There seems to be a slight resurgence of confidence in the kiwifruit market as supply chain issues are largely resolved, and with risk better understood and priced into investment decisions. The more favourable weather conditions also mean the 2024 export forecast is significantly higher than last year. Our recent analysis of the kiwifruit sector, shows a bounce back in activity after effectively stalling between November 2022 and July 2023.

Dairy confidence is holding on the commodity side of the market, while sentiment still needs to catch up. News that Fonterra has increased its 2023/24 season forecast farmgate milk price, with the midpoint lifting to $7.80 per kgMS, bodes well for vendors and buyers in the dairy property market in the coming months.

In the sheep and beef sector, commodity prices have been more compressed. Heated competition for land from forestry has eased which presents better opportunities for traditional sheep and beef farm buyers, and the OIO has started to make decisions on a number of stalled transactions.

Quality assets are selling as well as they ever have, with multiple parties still competing for great offerings which demonstrates the resilience of the agri-sector and the long-term value buyers see in rural real estate. There is also probably the biggest spread of variety and opportunity to be tapped into right now as landowners make decisions to move on to their next venture.

Meanwhile, the lifestyle market has continued to stabilise, with activity expected to lift. As residential intensification continues in main centres, and businesses accept that some level of flexible working is viable, some people are migrating away from the cities and capitalising on hybrid opportunities. Many simply see a lifestyle property as genuinely providing the best of all worlds.

We are super proud of our rural legacy and what our country team has achieved for clients over the past 25 years. If you want to experience how you can get more with Bayleys Country – give us a call, it would be great to have a chat.

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