HTW reports improving rural property sentiment

Beef Central, 03/10/2013

Further signs of improving rural property market sentiment have been underlined in national valuation firm Herron Todd White’s latest monthly report.

“It may be a change of government, it may be the dollar, it may be buyer-vendor expectations now coming into alignment or a combination of all the above, but whatever it is, this month our team is reporting an increased level of sales activity almost across the country,” HTW national rural director Tim Lane writes in the October report, released this week.

“Sentiment is what drives a market and it appears to be starting to shift which is a good sign for the sector overall.”

Mr Lane noted that the increased level of activity will not necessarily see prices move upwards in some regions, as supply of properties still exceeds demand. 

However, the fact that transactions were now being executed would help prospective market entrants to gain a view of the market.

Contributing to improved confidence in the northern agricultural sector in particular was the Australian Agricultural Company’s recent announcement that its $91 million Darwin abattoir will proceed.

“This level of investment into agriculture generally and the cattle market in the north in particular is a positive statement about the longer term view of the market and opportunity,” Mr Lane said.

“This development has the capacity to change some of the face of that northern market and, as they say, a rising tide floats all boats.”

Recent changes in Indonesia’s approach to live cattle imports were also contributing to improving sentiment for the Top End cattle industry.

Planned investment in northern Australian breeding country by the Indonesian Government also had the potential to help the fragile recovery of the Top End pastoral industry.

Signs of recovery are yet to be witnessed in Queensland’s northern grazing sectorm however, where severe drought conditions continue to fuel mortgagee sales.

Early figures for 2013 suggest that median prices for both the North Queensland and Northern Central Downs Country regions have softened further this year.

HTW said sale transaction volumes remained modest in the currently cautious market environment, with an estimated 32 sales of 2500 hectare plus Northern Queensland properties taking place during 2012 and 2013.
Kilclooney was recently put to the auction room and passed in for $2.55 million. The property is in the possession of receivers and negotiations are continuing.

The report also notes that selling activity has picked up in Queensland’s far north  where a number of properties had transacted over the past six weeks.

Two cattle stations were subject to sale contracts in the Lower Cape. The details of the contracts remain confidence, but the report noted that the prices involved would show a significant decrease in values from the peak levels achieved around 2007 and 2008.


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