Golden land: Queensland farm values soar 10%

Queensland farmland values soared in 2016.

The median value of Queensland farmland jumped an astonishing 10.3% in 2016, according to Rural Bank’s new Australian Farmland Values report.

The findings underline the strength of Queensland farmland value and shows the average annual median price of the state’s farmland has increased on average by 6.3% per annum over the last 20 years.

While the estimated number of farmland transactions in 2016 decreased slightly compared to 2015, the area of farmland traded in 2016 surged by an astounding 43.5% year-on-year.

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In 2016, a total of 7.95 million hectares of farmland was traded in Queensland at a total value of approximately $2.14 billion.

The report features a comprehensive analysis of Australian farmland property values and key national, state and regional trends such as commodity prices, climatic conditions and other sectoral factors, lending rates and the broader investment environment.

Produced by Rural Bank’s specialist market insights division Ag Answers, the report is based on real farm sales since 1995 and draws on more than 230,000 transactions, accounting for 278 million hectares of land with a combined value of $132 billion.

Many land owners are in a position where they not only want to hold onto their existing land but also want to expand it

Rural Bank Regional Manager Agribusiness, John Ellwood, says that despite the decrease in the volume of transactions recorded in 2016, demand for farmland in Queensland remains very high.

“The transaction numbers recorded in 2016 don’t reflect the fact that land, notably quality pastoral land, is coveted in Queensland, particularly in the state’s north,” Ellwood says.

“For example, the median price for North Queensland increased by 14.8% in 2016, taking the five0year average annual price growth for the region to 4.9%.

“Many land owners are in a position where they not only want to hold onto their existing land but also want to expand it.

“This is especially true in the case of livestock producers who have reaped the benefits of positive seasonal conditions as well as strong cattle and sheep prices.

Looking ahead, Ellwood says 2017 is likely to follow the same trend as 2016.

“With low summer rainfall and hot conditions, Queensland has had a tough start to 2017 and as a result, we expect sales activity to remain relatively flat for the first half of the year at least,” he says.

“However, the outlook remains positive for livestock producers in particular, especially given the recent trend in prices for cattle and sheep. Consequently, we think it’s likely land value will continue to grow in 2017.”

This article from The Townsville Bulletin was originally published as “Queensland farmland values rise by more than 10 per cent