[16 November/Stuff]

A cold and wet spring has stunted the rural real estate market despite a significant increase in dairy farm listings in Waikato. A quiet winter selling period, tighter bank lending criteria, potential changes to the Overseas Investment Act and appalling North Island weather made showcasing any farms on the market challenging. PGG Wrightson Real Estate General Manager Peter Newbold said there was also some adjustment between buyers and vendors over where values sat in the dairy sector, but Mr Newbold noted quality properties always sold. Mr Newbold said there were signs that the market was beginning to pick up and good farms were still selling strongly. Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Rural Spokesman Brian Peacocke said there was a more optimistic dairy payout outlook that made selling a more attractive prospect. Mr Peacocke said there was a significant increase in the number of dairy farms offered in the Waikato.