Cows can’t foot it with horses when it comes to property prices, as a record sale of $11.1 million for a Cambridge dairy farm has proven.
The 92.5 hectare dairy farm has been sold at auction to two horse breeders, Tony Rider of Milan Park Stud, and the Hawkins family who own Wentwood Grange stud. They will split the property in two.
PGG Wrightson Real Estate agent Martin Lee said the $11.1 million equated to just short of $120,000 per hectare.
“Previously the highest price paid on land and buildings for a Waikato dairy farm was a May 2016 transaction, when a 107-ha Clevedon property changed hands, also for $11.1 million. That equates to around $104,000 per ha, making this sale a clear record for a Waikato dairy farm.”
Lee said there had been a trend of horse breeding steadily pushing out dairying from the Matamata and Cambridge areas over the last 20 years.
The farm, situated between Maungatautari Road and the Waikato River, had been in the same family for the past 120 years.
Dairy farmers had shown initial interest at the auction, but were not able to match the price paid by the winning bidders. The underbidder was a nursery which grows fruit trees.
PGG general manager Peter Newbold said the sale reflected the underlying strength of the rural property market despite challenges currently facing the dairy sector.
“Mycoplasma bovis, and changes to overseas ownership regulations, are making decisions around investment in dairy more complex, which is holding that part of the rural property market back as farmers work their way around those issues,” Newbold said.
Lee downplayed the impact of M.bovis on dairy farm sales, saying the Fonterra $7 per kilogram of milksolids price for farmers this coming season showed dairying was still a healthy sector.