A number of auctioneers around the country tell me that it can be easier to sell 70- to 100-acre blocks in the current market than it is to sell 20- to 30-acre parcels. Latest reports suggest that the momentum for smaller parcels (in certain regions) has eased over the past six to eight weeks but the demand for large 100-acre blocks remains strong. This is an unusual turnaround as smaller parcels, although generally costing more on a per-acre basis, are more affordable for a wider number of customers. However, a combination of vast sums of money still on deposit (including roads money) coupled with the concept of expansion, especially among dairy farmers, is driving a real demand for big blocks. This demand is also being underpinned by overseas interest, particularly in the country estates market. The difficulty for agents is finding these big blocks; some clients are looking to buy 200 to 300 acres, which infrequently arrive on the market.
I am aware, however, that some agents who had large farms and estates retained on their books for the past two to three years are after selling all these and are now eager to acquire a new inventory of suitable properties for clients. The challenge is sourcing them.