A Hawke's Bay kiwifruit orchard property sold just prior to Christmas for $40.2 million, believed to be a record price for any sale of New Zealand kiwifruit or horticultural land.
PGG Wrightson Real Estate general manager Peter Newbold said it was one of the largest sales, by value, of any New Zealand rural property.
"In recent months, values for premium Bay of Plenty orchards have exceeded the $800,000 per canopy hectare threshold. This time last year, similar properties were selling for $600,000 per canopy hectare and, two years ago, they were around the $450,000 per canopy hectare mark. Sentiment among growers is extremely positive, with all indications that the market will remain buoyant for at least the next five years.
"Many observers will be gratified that this transaction took place between two New Zealand-based entities. Even for sales of this magnitude, locals have the capacity to purchase New Zealand rural property, despite competition from overseas interests.
"This is a remarkable sale by any standard, reflecting the kiwifruit sector's outstanding confidence and reinforcing its bright future in comparison to the struggles it went through following the PSA virus a few years ago," he said
The orchards, 12km northwest of Hastings, were developed more than 20 years ago by the vendors, whose family are long established in Hawke's Bay. Now into its third year producing G3 gold kiwifruit, the new owner is the Ngai Tukairangi Trust, which has considerable kiwifruit interests in the Bay of Plenty.
PGG Wrightson Real Estate's Stan Robb said: "In addition to its size, which considerably exceeds almost all other kiwifruit orchards, this property is situated in an area recognised for bumper crops of large fruit that attract premium early start incentives. It is a property developed to a high standard, with excellent infrastructure, ag-beam and wire pergolas, artificial shelter, frost protection and irrigation. Included in the sale were an ex-packhouse, a manager's home, office accommodation and a full range of orchard machinery," he said.
He said demand for gold kiwifruit property was phenomenal.
"Zespri's confirmation in November that it will release another 400 hectares of licences for gold kiwifruit in 2017 further consolidated the exceptional confidence the sector has shown over the past few seasons.
"Although this sale is a record price for horticulture property, which is unlikely to be surpassed for some time, on a per canopy hectare basis, its value is well within the range of recent sales and this transaction is most reasonably judged in that context."