Regional Real Estate Reports - June 2024
June 2024

Regional Real Estate Reports - June 2024

Read a snapshot about the current trends of the property market in your region. 



While a good range of the region’s properties are available for sale, buyers have been reluctant to commit. Indications are beginning to emerge that this is changing, with greater enthusiasm from banks and economic conditions in Auckland slowly starting to pick up.

How soon these positive signals will start to influence the Northland market is difficult to gauge. Progress in spring, or shortly after, is possible.

With the government changing policy settings, including the opportunity for residential property investors to claim tax credits on interest payments, residential property may lead the market recovery.

Plenty of Northland lifestyle blocks are available for winter and spring sale, offering excellent value and an affordable haven from the city. Several at Paparoa, south of Dargaville, should meet these criteria for aspiring purchasers.

One notable listing, at Mahinepua Peninsula north of Kerikeri, a 435 hectare rural property held in the same family since the mid 20th century and subdivided to enable the establishment of a select number of spectacular coastal blocks, has drawn phenomenal attention ahead of its tender at the end of May. This is one of the region’s most interesting listings in recent years. Whether transacted as a single unit or in parts, this sale will be closely watched.

Blog - 2024 Ronaki Erin Harrison Article_Beach


Waikato and King Country

Farming sectors in Waikato and King Country remain cautious.

Interest rates, high production costs, labour challenges and inconsistent returns have created general uncertainty, leading to a lack of confidence, dissuading both buyers and sellers. Although banks have money to lend, their criteria are rigid.

Across all rural land use types, when property listings in favoured locations meet market expectations on productivity and presentation they will attract attention from willing buyers. Meanwhile, any compromise on those factors through the winter will put purchasers off, or result in discounts.

Offered in autumn a 300 hectare Glen Murray farm, including Thundercross Valley Dirt Bike Park, a high-profile adventure tourism business, is for sale under a tender process, the outcome of which will be of interest.

Although a traditional winter is in prospect for rural property, some equilibrium on value should start to emerge. As vendors become better attuned to market sentiment, and their value expectations align more exactly with those of buyers, a more positive spring market should eventuate in Waikato and King Country, with signalled new listings providing additional opportunity. So long as the gap in perception that has prevailed over the past two seasons closes, and buyers are willing to compete, the spring real estate market is likely to feature plenty of activity.

 Motorcross - in action


Bay of Plenty

While confidence in horticulture has been low, market activity in kiwifruit and avocado orchards, which dominate the Bay of Plenty rural property sector, has been flat for some time. Higher quality orchards have not generally come to the market through this period and growers who might otherwise seek to expand their operations are withholding this year’s proceeds to pay off bank debt.

Some kiwifruit orchard vendors have not adjusted their price expectations since the market peak. This has resulted in misalignment, where offers from purchasers are lower than vendors will willingly accept. Such a mismatch is also contributing to low sales volumes in the kiwifruit sector.

However, following two challenging seasons where growers dealt with rising orchard costs, extreme weather, and unfavourable economic conditions, fundamentals for kiwifruit are improving, and the market should move in a more positive direction later in 2024, or early in 2025.

Recent sales campaigns for dairy listings indicate the market for properties that adhere to the favoured criteria is holding up. In the eastern Bay of Plenty, subject to location, environmental compliance and longevity of resource consents, sales of up to $50,000 per hectare for dairy property and $20,000 per hectare for grazing remain possible.


Lower North Island

Transacting real estate recently in the Taranaki, Wanganui, Wairarapa, Manawatu and Horowhenua regions has been challenging, with most deals requiring the resolution of various conditions before they can proceed. Historically a sluggish market like this will generally ease when buyers and sellers reach agreement on how far values have shifted. Momentum re-establishes when enough vendors realise that what they will receive for their property is no longer at the peak levels that prevailed previously, with the redeeming factor being that they are buying and selling in the same market. This is starting to occur in the lower North Island, particularly with residential property suited to first time buyers, and should prove the catalyst for a more general shift in market momentum.

Rural market activity in the lower North Island will follow the same trend, though may take a while longer. Sales of marginal sheep and beef farms for land use change to forestry have slowed after previous peaks, though some await decisions by the Overseas Investment Office, which may re-initiate this part of the market.

Due to accessibility to either Wellington or Palmerston North, or both, lifestyle and residential property in certain areas, including Marton, Fielding, Levin and Foxton Beach, is becoming more attractive than it was in the past, particularly to first-time buyers. Purchasers are prepared to push further afield to secure value.

 FDG36815 lifestyle collection blog 2023 house


Hawke’s Bay

Demand for Hawke’s Bay rural property was insufficient to result in autumn sales in any number. Market uncertainty and the wide choice available means deals are protracted and subject to multiple conditions. For sheep and beef farms, ignoring the price spike of 2021 and 2022 and taking guidance from the values that prevailed between 2018 and 2020 is advised.

Buyers seeking hill country to plant trees have stepped back at decreased price levels, though a handful of such deals await Overseas Investment Office approval. If obtained, central government clarification around the Emissions Trading Scheme and overseas investment criteria would reignite interest.

A significant horticulture transaction between two large industry players transferred ownership of some 240 hectares, a mix of freehold and leased orchards. Despite the challenges of cyclone related issues, strength in the market place around returns, and cost escalations, this is a positive signal for orchardists.

Lenders seem increasingly willing to engage with rural professionals. With forestry supported by offshore funding no longer dominant, and the market therefore defaulting to transactions among sheep and beef farmers, the availability of finance again becomes pivotal for sales to proceed.

Those offering Hawke’s Bay lifestyle property should find a buyer, particularly when willing to meet the market. While that also means some buyers are holding out for bargains, others are realistic, and will settle at a fair market level.



Two Marlborough dairy properties sold notably in the autumn. A 322 hectare low input, self-contained Rai Valley farm producing around 200,000 kilograms of milk solids per annum from 440 cows was sold by a family that had held it since the 1860s for $7.3 million. Meanwhile, a 154 hectare Linkwater dairy farm transacted for $3.65 million. In multiple titles, this leant itself to subdivision among neighbours, which is how it sold.

While it is business as usual in the region’s vineyards with pruning under way, uncertainty marks the viticulture sector due to an average harvest and challenging export markets. Absent of recent sales any downward pricing trends are not evident, and this market is unlikely to resume in any volume until late 2024.

As in other regions a buyers’ market prevails in Tasman and Marlborough. With sheep and beef returns at low levels, and farm expenses climbing, along with a drought, prospective purchasers have the luxury of plenty of choice and are electing to wait, particularly in the expectation that interest rates might become more favourable.

In the region’s lifestyle and residential markets property listed recently is appropriately priced, though buyers lack urgency and are taking their time to commit. Market dynamics in the region are not likely to change dramatically in the coming months, though a range of lower value residential and lifestyle properties are likely to become available.

 Rai Valley Farm - landscape



Though slow, Canterbury’s property market activity through the past few months was steady. While homes, lifestyle property and farms have listed and sold through the period, real estate business in the region was conducted at a reduced pace compared to a normal autumn.

Rural activity is focused mainly around dairy. A number of Waimakariri dairy support farms changed hands in the autumn. Included among these were 385 hectare Eyredale and 315 hectare Spring Grove Farm, both in Oxford. While values held steady, most of these transactions were several months in the making, and mainly featured neighbours or other locals adding to and consolidating existing dairy operations.

Little of note occurred in the sheep and beef sector, where some purchasers appear to be waiting for values to drop.

High quality cropping farms have been well sought after, particularly those with premium soils. As is usual for the winter months the market is slowing, albeit more listings remain available than has been normal in recent years.

North Canterbury’s lifestyle and residential property appeal, based on its easy commute to Christchurch, remains an important market factor, especially among those looking for somewhere to retire. Several Rangiora lifestyle properties will be available for sale through the winter. Amberley’s appeal remains strong, particularly with the listing of another subdivision in the town providing focus for locals, people looking to move to the district, and investors.

Changes to government policy around the bright-line property rule and tax are stimulating renewed activity in the investor market.


Mid and South Canterbury and North Otago

Improving longer term economic indicators have boosted some buyers’ confidence, leading to the dairy sector featuring heavily in the North Otago, South Canterbury and Mid Canterbury autumn rural property market. Purchases included a 236 hectare tier one Morven farm producing 470,000 kilograms of milk solids per annum from 880 cows, and a 158 hectare Clandeboye farm with excellent infrastructure and irrigation producing 418,000 kilograms. Both farms sold well, and values remain close to the benchmarks achieved two years ago.

Dairy sector activity should increase slightly through the coming months. Sustaining the elevated payout would reinvigorate vendors who previously postponed exiting the sector, potentially boosting dairy listings compared to last season. A pool of buyers remains motivated and active, though will be selective. As they undertake due diligence, purchasers and their funders are placing greater emphasis on resource consents and environmental compliance. Before going to the market to speed up the sales process, vendors would be well advised to prepare their documentation, and present their farms accordingly.

For sheep and beef property, listings are taking longer to attract buyers, with current and forecast commodity pricing, plus interest costs, creating a gap between the value expectations of vendors and purchasers.

In areas that meet the criteria around water, temperature, soil types and frost some dairy land has been identified for its horticulture potential, particularly apples, which could develop into a more substantial land use in South Canterbury and Mid Canterbury.

Buyer activity in the region’s commercial property sector has increased significantly since the start of the year, mainly focused on owner operators.



Several exceptional Otago rural properties were offered to the market in recent months. These include 13,177 hectare Northburn Station, on the shores of Lake Dunstan and Cromwell and 11,400 hectare Matangi Station, which bounds Alexandra and has been in the same family for over 100 years. Both prestigious, historic high country offerings attracted considerable attention during summer and autumn.

In May 240 hectare Waiatea, a highly productive and attractive West Otago mixed cropping, sheep and cattle property drew plenty of interest before selling locally under a deadline sale process.

Meanwhile a 96 hectare Highcliff property, with panoramic harbour and ocean views, and 150 years of the history of local dairy farming was offered for the first time since 1867, selling in two lots, a smaller portion purchased with a view to lifestyle property and a larger purchased to continue as a farming operation with easy access to Dunedin.

Marydale, a 450 hectare large scale, versatile and well-balanced South Otago property, primarily fattening beef cattle and lambs, was offered for sale in the autumn.

As in other regions, market uncertainty is presenting challenges when bringing together buyers and sellers of rural property. This is also the case at the higher end of the lifestyle sector where doubt around job security is holding purchasers back, though is posing less of a hurdle for first time buyers of lifestyle property.

Marydale Farm - cows 



After a summer that delivered Southland farmers one of the better recent seasons for pasture production, dairy farm and grazing block sales were the highlight of autumn rural property market activity.

Among these were two Woodlands farms, each around 160 hectares, changing hands between $39,500 and $42,000 per hectare, while mid-range Southland dairy farms fetched between $32,000 and $35,000 per hectare. Recent sales have generally been to neighbours or other local farmers, though some have gone to first farm buyers with investor support.

Fonterra’s recent announcement of a possible return of capital to shareholders by liquidating some brands should add further life to the market, though positive signs, and property market activity, remain some distance into the future for the sheep industry.  

Interest in forestry has returned, with three properties selling for planting this winter, purchased by New Zealand investors. A 2000 hectare Northern Southland high country property should draw plenty of attention when it lists for spring sale. Otherwise, a more subdued market is likely for larger properties, though activity in the $1 million to $3 million bracket is more likely. 

For Southland’s lifestyle and provincial residential sector, although there is some resistance to properties over $1 million, plenty of good demand is in evidence in the $500,000 to $800,000 bracket, and assuming the predicted fall in interest rates eventuates, the region’s spring market should gain in confidence.

Get in touch with your local office for more detailed local insights.

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