RECORD farmland prices have been set in three different farming areas in Western Australia in three days through online auctions.
Nutrien Harcourts WA recently set new benchmarks for the rural market in Meckering, East Binnu and Bruce Rock when properties were sold under the virtual hammer, all to local family farmers, via Openn Negotiation.
The properties were Belmunging, Meckering, sold for $6.55 million; Wallangarra, East Binnu, for $5.25 million; and Haases, to Shackleton, for $2.61 million.
All sales prices exceeded agents’ expectations.
With the bidding starting at $4 million, Nutrien Harcourts WA sales agent and sales representative Rex Luers said the final leg of the auction started at $5.165 million and lasted about 15 minutes before the auction. sale of the property.
Sold at $6.55 million for the 1,165 hectare (957 arable ha) farm, this sale was equivalent to $5,622 per hectare or $6,844 per arable hectare.
According to the Rural Bank Australian Farmland Values annual report, this sale suggested that land values had more than doubled since last year, as the report indicated that property prices in Cunderdin (the nearest township) were in average of $2715/ha.
“The price was slightly higher than I expected but also not surprising given the high demand for the land,” Mr Luers said.
The buyers were the Springbett family of York, the sellers being the Reyonlds family.
“The sellers were pleased with the price outcome and also pleased that the property went to a younger farming family,” Mr Luers said.
“I’ve had good enquiries, all from family farmers looking to expand – some up to 50 kilometres.”
Mr Luers said the main features of this property were that it had “mainly good quality soil types, extremely good water and fencing and had been well maintained by the vendors”.
Belmunging was a sheep and grain property and it is understood that the intentions of the buyers are similar.
Wallangarra, east of Binnu:
Measuring 2,870 ha (2,456 arable ha) and selling for $5.25 million, Wallangarra’s sale equated to $1,829/ha or $2,138 per arable hectare.
This sale also suggests that the value of farmland has increased significantly, more than threefold, as the Rural Bank said that in 2020 the value of farmland in the municipality of Northampton averaged $546/ha.
Sales agent Chad Smith, Nutrien Harcourts WA, felt the result of the sale was a record for the East Binnu region.
Bidding started at $3 million and the final auction stage started at $4.6 million, where five bidders were active in the final auction stage vying for the property.
The buyer could not be disclosed at the time of writing but was local to the Binnu area, with the sellers being the Wilson family.
Mr Smith said the property had attracted strong interest, with around 10 inspections carried out over the marketing year.
“Most of the interest came from local farming families and there were two parts from outside the region – one from the Deep South and one from the Esperance District,” he said.
With the sale of Wallangarra reflecting a surge in the value of local farmland, Mr Smith believed demand for farmland was driven by low interest rates, making borrowing cheaper and two good seasons in a row with high commodity prices.
“I think people see agriculture as a safe industry, given how the industry has handled COVID,” he said.
Sold for $2.61 million and measuring 571 ha (564 arable ha), the sale equates to $4,571/ha or $4,628 per arable hectare.
Compared to Rural Bank data, the Haases sale suggested an increase of nearly three-fold, up from the Municipality of Bruce Rock’s 2020 average values of $1,603/ha.
“This is a record price for the Bruce Rock area by a significant margin,” said sales agent Jarrad Hubbard, Nutrien Harcourts WA.
“People are looking to expand and as there is no more cleared farmland, there hasn’t been a lot of land available for purchase lately.”
The property was purchased by the Cunningham family of Pingelly, from seller Joan Cameron.
All interest in the property came from family farmers, which, together with the Belmunging and Wallangarra sales, suggested that farming families were still the main buying force in the rural Western Australian market. .