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Rain and resources hold sway over rural sales

By Juliet Helmke
21 March 2024 | 10 minute read
Travis Wentriro reb

Unexpected higher rainfall in NSW has fuelled increased interest in rural property at the start of autumn.

According to Travis Wentriro, NSW network manager for Raine & Horne Rural, the two factors having an outsized impact on rural property prices across the state this season are money and moisture.

Rains off the back of ex-tropical cyclone Kirrily during February 2024 delivered more precipitation than was otherwise expected, with the southward migration of this system bringing storm rainfall to far north western NSW stretching south across central inland NSW.

Wentriro said that recent increased rainfall had served to showcase many properties to buyers in an advantageous light, fuelling heightened interest in rural purchases.

“Contrary to predictions of drought conditions, the abundant rain has caused cattle and sheep prices to head north again,” he said.

“There’s water in the dams and in many regions, farmers have stopped hand-feeding cattle as there is feed on the ground. These are all positive factors that are underpinning demand for rural property,” Wentriro explained.

However, lenders are still wary when it comes to finance for rural properties, with loan-to-value ratios averaging around 70 per cent, meaning prospective buyers need roughly 30 per cent of the purchase cost upfront – a tough task for many in the current economic climate.

Wentriro noted that the need for large deposits is dampening sales in a way that rain is not.

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“The smaller LVRs are a factor in the speed of rural property transactions,” he said.

In areas that did not receive the benefit of recent rains, Wentriro said that interest is on the rise for agistment land, with drier conditions forcing farmers to seek fattening blocks for lease.

He noted some livestock owners have even shown willingness to transport cattle across state borders for the right opportunity, as it’s proving more cost-effective than hand-feeding for long periods on drought-impacted properties.

Properties that were de-stocked due to dry conditions last year are filling a need in this space.

“These properties are currently being utilised for agistment as they have become greener with the recent rainfall, while farmers consider restocking,” Wentriro commented.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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