Movement at the station: A roundup of rural property briefs

Jon Condon, 08/06/2016
  • Well-known Murrumbo on the market for $7.75m
  • Farmland is great wealth creation opportunity, says bank CEO
  • Willesley and Laurel Hills offers about to close
  • Boulia certified Organic country makes $105/ha

Well-known Murrumbo on the market for $7.75m

The 2968ha NSW Upper Hunter Valley property Murrumbo has been passed in at auction for $7 million and is now for sale with an asking price of $7.75m. The property is surrounded by the Goulburn River and Wollemi National Parks.

“With its rich volcanic soils and excellent water facilities, Murrumbo is both an outstanding livestock breeding and finishing holding as well as a property with cropping potential, with 600ha of known farming country supporting the open undulating grazing country,” marketing agents Meares & Associates and Mudgee-based Peter Druitt & Co said. The asset includes a large 751 ML irrigation licence.

Murrumbo currently runs a commercial Angus cow herd, however it has been home to of one of Australia’s leading Poll Hereford cattle studs and a leading Santa Gertrudis cattle stud.  Mr Druitt said three parties who originally inspected Murrumbo were carrying out further inspections.

“When one considers the lack of large-scale properties in the inner country capable of carrying more than a 1000 cows and also noting the quality and condition of the cattle, Murrumbo represents good value at the asking price,” he said.

Farmland is great wealth creation opportunity, says bank CEO

The value of Australian farmland has grown by an average of 6 percent annually over the past 20 years, making it one of the best-­returning and most resilient long-term asset classes available to investors a recent review has suggested.

A comprehensive Rural Bank study, which examined 220,000 farm sales valued at $124 billion across Australia over the past 20 years, confirmed the underlying strength of ­agricultural property values, ­despite droughts, floods and sector downturns.

Last year, a record $7.6 billion of agricultural land was sold across Australia, with farm values surging more than 10pc in NSW and Western Australia, and in Tasmania by 12.8pc.

Rural Bank chief executive Alex­andra Gartmann welcomed the figures as good news for long-held Australian family farms, ­especially those hit recently by low farmgate milk prices, grape gluts and continued drought.

She said the inaugural Australian Farmland Values report showed remarkably consistent strong annual growth and rates of return on farm investments in all Australian states over 20 years of between 5pc and 6.1pc, confirming similar figures ­recently released by US farmland investment company West­chester.

The biggest turnover in farmland last year was in NSW, with 3825 productive rural properties selling for a total of $2.92bn.

Farm values jumped by 14pc last year along the NSW south coast’s dairying region and in the Southern Highlands, and by 11 per cent in the Riverina and Murray River irrigation areas.

Confidence in farm investment was strongest in Tasmania, buyers taking a record $214m of rural farmland.

The report, produced by the market insights division of the combined Rural Bank and Rural Finance corporation, found the most volatility in farmland ­values in Queensland. But it noted that, despite tough times, even Queensland land values had shown a gradual increase of 5.7pc a year for the past two ­decades, in line with national trends.

Willesley and Laurel Hills offers about to close

Willesley and Laurel Hills includes a 5000 head feed with capacity for expansion and good cattle handling facilities

Willesley and Laurel Hills includes a 5000 head feed with capacity for expansion and good cattle handling facilities

Offers are about to close on Willesley and Laurel Hills, two versatile and well developed brigalow farming and grazing properties north of Clermont in Central Qld.

Agents CBRE (Geoff Warriner) and Queensland Rural (Peter McPherson) are fielding offers above $27.5 million.

The 32,500ha leasehold aggregation includes 1400ha of irrigated farmland, 130 ha of irrigated leucaena, large areas of dryland cropping,  a 5000 Standard Cattle Unit feedlot with scope for expansion, and carrying capacity of 12,000 head of feeder-type cattle. There are extensive high quality structural improvements including water infrastructure for irrigation and stock use. The aggregation has considerable potential for expansion in all facets of current operation, agents say.

Offers close 10 June.

Boulia Certified Organic country makes $105/ha

Western Queensland certified Organic grazing property Westward Ho near Boulia sold for $5.24 million at a Ray White Rural auction in Brisbane last week.

The buyer was adjoining cattleman Adrian Wells from Elrose Station. The sale price is equal to about $105/ha.

Westward Ho has been held by the Prince family for the past 47 years and was sold as part of a family restructure.

Totalling 50,000 hectares of quality Boulia cattle country, Westward Ho has typically run 2500 to 3000 breeders.

It consists mainly of large areas of Mitchell grasslands and soft pebbly downs country interspersed with some gidyea. The Hamilton River, Warenda and Fifteen Mile Creek systems traverse the property and provide natural channel irrigation and beneficial flooding over significant areas boosting natural grasses and herbage.

Supplementing the natural waterways are six capped, flowing bores supplying strategically located turkey nests, tanks and troughs plus five solar assisted bores supplying turkey nests, tanks, troughs and dams.


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