THIS week’s property review includes this summary of recent sales of note, and a separate article featuring recent listings across the country.
- Neighbours secure Central Australia’s Idracowra for $10.1m
- Drought stricken Tarwarri snapped up
- Record prices for two Western District operations
- Farming identity retires, sells Lucindale property
- Bordertown’s Munga Park split up
- SA spring auction bonanza
Neighbours secure Central Australia’s Idracowra
Central Australia’s Angus and Kimberley McKay from Umbearra Station are the new owners of the neighbouring Idracowra Station.
The couple secured the 462,800ha cattle property a week before it was due to go to auction for $10.1 million.
Located 120km south of Alice Springs, Idracowra, pictured above, runs around 7500 adult equivalents.
As reported earlier, the operation was sold on a walk-in-walk-out basis, including 3000 head of cattle, plant and equipment for more than $7 million by Geoff Warriner and Chris Holgar from JLL. The sale completed the exit from Australian land investments for vendor, billionaire sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.
The country has areas of low edible mulga, with substantial stands located towards the southern boundary.
Spear and various summer grasses are a feature, along with areas of spinifex, edible herbages, including bluebush, and extensive stands of parakeelya following seasonal rain.
The Finke River traverses the northern portion of the property for 90km, providing semi-permanent and permanent waterholes.
The McKays are a well-known local pastoral family who have operated the adjoining Umbearra Station for the past 57 years.
Spanning 360,170ha, Umbearra is located 320km south of Alice Springs on the Northern Territory – South Australia border. It was purchased in 1962 by Angus McKay’s grandfather, Leith. Ten years later, his son Thomas added the adjacent property, Kulgera.
The aggregation consists of granite hill and open mulga country, with numerous creek systems.
It runs around 7500 head of Certified Organic Red Angus cross cattle, producing bullocks for both the domestic and export markets.
Drought stricken Tarwarri snapped up
Nundle (NSW) district grazing property Tarwarri has sold at auction for $6.15 million ($6071/ha) bare, after 82 years of ownership.
The 1013ha holding is situated 50km south of Tamworth in the New England region.
Seventy percent of Tarwarri is arable with gentle slopes to productive creek flats. It is secured by seven bores and dams and is capable of running 500 cows.
It was purchased by Dave Carlon from Guyra who will use the country to background steers over winter, as well as fatten stock.
Daniel McCulloch, from the newly launched McCulloch Agencies, said the price paid was in line with expectations.
“Tarwarri sold within six weeks, despite the tough ongoing drought conditions. Nundle is sought after country, in a renowned region,” he said.
Vendors Joe and June Burr, who have owned the property since 1937, are retiring to Nundle.
Record prices for two Western District operations
Two grazing blocks in the Western District of New South Wales achieved record prices when they were auctioned by Bourke-based Greg Seiler from Landmark Walsh Hughes.
The Davis family acquired the 18,522ha Myroolia in 1948 and purchased the 9497ha Part Romani in 1971.
Located 125km north west of Bourke in the Fords Bridge district, the two properties have the capacity to run 8000 DSE with additional income from seasonal goat harvesting and carbon projects.
The current management has consisted of a Merino wool/breeding operation, a Poll Hereford x Charolais cross herd of cows, along with seasonal trading of cattle.
Mr Seiler said after more than 30 inquiries, 13 inspections and seven registered bidders, the two properties achieved more than $124/ha or $400/DSE.
“The result was one of the highest levels paid for that particular type of country. A neighbour (based in Glen Innes) secured Myroolia for $2.3m, while a Mudgee producer looking to expand operations into the west paid $1.2m for Part Romani,” he said.
Farming identity retires, sells Lucindale property
Well-known producer John Crosby has retired from farming, selling his 598ha Lucindale property in South Australia’s south-east.
Over his career, Mr Crosby chaired numerous wheat and meat industry bodies and held senior roles with the National Farmers Federation, the NSW Farmers Association and the Agribusiness Association of Australia.
His property featured a combination of heavy black fertile flats and darker highly productive sandy loams to lighter loams over limestone on the higher ground, plus a generous amount of rich red loams scattered through the hill gums (beautiful warm stock country during the winter months).
In the end, it was broken up into three blocks, all of which have sold to separate neighbours. A further two parties bought his water entitlements for a record $550/mgl.
CBRE director Phil Schell said where possible, splitting up places can make them more affordable for neighbours looking for the typical add-on block.
“It’s been my pitch for two years – don’t look past family farming,” he said.
Bordertown’s Munga Park split up
Phil Schell also reports the sale of Munga Park South, one of five blocks in the Munga Park Aggregation offered by Tim and Valerie Carter for sale by expressions of interest.
Offered in April as a single landholding or as five individual properties, the 2531ha aggregation comprises the 1014ha Nammah, 541ha Munga Park North, 520ha Munga Park South and 455ha Naringa/Parkers.
The five contiguous properties are located in the Frances district south of Bordertown in South Australia.
They feature fertile soils, developed pastures and quality cropping land, and are underpinned by three water licences, as well as a reliable average annual rainfall.
The Carters purchased Munga Park 30 years ago from Bruce Burnell who had developed the property into one of the leading Simmental studs in Australia.
Mr Schell said the vendors had decided to retain two land parcels (Munga Park North and Naringa/Parkers) and negotiations are currently underway with Nammah.
The purchaser of Munga Park South was its tenant who paid around $6900/ha, which was in line with recent district sales.
SA spring auction bonanza
Extraordinary prices continue to be paid at Ray White Rural South Australia’s spring auction bonanza.
A western division New South Wales livestock producer paid $5.4m ($7584/ha) for Pine Drive in South Australia’s highly regarded Farrell Flat district.
The 712ha parcel of land was in its fourth generation and 100th consecutive year of ownership by the same family.
Pine Drive is a highly productive mixed enterprise, 20km from Burra and 21km from Clare.
The country varies from flat to gently undulating fertile arable land with mostly clay loam soil types.
The property has secure water sources and was presented for sale in excellent condition through an ongoing fencing replacement program.
RWR director Geoff Schell said the new owner planned to grow fodder and finish lambs on the block.
Another highly productive mixed farming property located in the upper mid north region of South Australia sold to a neighbour for $4.6m ($8679/ha).
Pinerow is located in the southern Flinders Ranges, six kilometres north of Wirrabara and 244km north of Adelaide.
The 530ha of country varies from gently undulating to undulating farming and grazing land with mostly clay/loam soil types.
Most of the fencing has been replaced in the past six years.
Mr Schell said potential sellers had been watching the growth in farming land values over the past two to three years and were capitalising on the increase in land values.
“Some of the higher rainfall and more reliable cropping areas have seen capital growth of up to 20 to 30 percent in the last two years. Many of the properties coming on to the market are from those exiting agriculture because they don’t have the next generation coming home to the family farm.”
Mr Schell said they are also coming from those who don’t have the scale of operation for business efficiency or don’t want to or are unable to increase debt levels to invest further into farm expansion.
“Most transactions in SA are with larger family-owned farming businesses looking for expansion opportunities to gain economy of scale and to better use their resources,” he said.
“In the higher value areas of the state (Yorke Peninsula, Lower North and Mid North in particular) there have been fewer opportunities to expand because supply of new property to the market has been limited.”
Mr Schell said in these higher value, reliable areas, demand often exceeded supply of land coming to the market.
“We’ve seen buyers prepared to move ‘out of district’ and look further afield to find more affordable land to expand their overall enterprise. With the continuing dry across Australia, we’re also seeing very strong inquiry from within SA and NSW and the drier areas of Victoria for the higher rainfall areas of SA.”
Mr Schell said the south-east region of SA had performed very well when many other areas had struggled.
“With the continued strength of the livestock sector, a number of our clients are also looking to broaden or expand their enterprise mix into livestock. They have sought opportunities to purchase grazing properties in south-east SA and higher rainfall areas of the Mid North and there’s also good enquiry for well-developed SA pastoral properties,” he said.