Weekly property overview: Farmland values in a local weather of rising financial uncertainty


WITH listings easing and competitors slowing, this week’s property overview seems to be at some mid-year predictions for rural property demand, traits and costs.

Yesterday in Melbourne, CBRE Agribusiness director Matt Childs and PwC’s Jaclyn Hope addressed the problem throughout an Australian Agribusiness Farmland Values networking occasion.

Matt Childs

Mr Childs mentioned nationwide, high quality agricultural belongings had been persevering with to carry out properly.

“In comparison with earlier years, the amount of competitors is decrease, however A-grade and turnkey belongings have sturdy enchantment and are attracting good competitors from certified consumers,” he mentioned.

Mr Childs mentioned the purpose of distinction was that poorer-grade belongings are having hassle transacting.

“Two years in the past, the hole between ‘good’ and ‘poor’ belongings was narrower. That has now widened as a result of a portion of the market is sitting on its fingers ready for the fitting property to come back alongside.”

He mentioned immediately, consumers had been compromising much less.

“Lately, when the property market was aggressive and aggressive, some consumers had been compromising greater than they need to.”

“Now, consumers are extra affected person about property purchases and take into account whether or not it’s appropriate for his or her current enterprise or enterprise mannequin.”

Mr Childs mentioned there was at present a low provide of property listings and a backlog of consumers, unable to safe an asset, able to transact.

“These producers might have beforehand competed for a hotly-contested alternative and missed out throughout a interval of report low provide, or they simply haven’t discovered the fitting place.”


He mentioned many producers had by no means been in a greater place to purchase land and a much less aggressive market gave consumers a greater alternative to safe the fitting asset.

“Within the final two or three years, some distributors achieved higher costs than anticipated. Now with a lowered quantity of purchaser competitors, the market has returned to normality. The identical degree of capital development is unlikely to be skilled within the coming 12 to 24 months.”

Mr Childs mentioned current main producers had skilled two or three excellent seasons, report ranges of capital development and so, from a steadiness sheet perspective, they had been in place to accumulate extra land.

“On the flip-side, rising rates of interest and falling commodity costs are being fastidiously thought of and are ruling some potential purchasers out. That explains the lowered degree of competitors.”

He mentioned consumers received’t deal with the approaching season, reasonably, the funding will probably be a long-term play.

“Regardless of a difficult financial setting (excessive inflation, rising rates of interest, softening commodity costs and robust indications of a doable El Nino), if producers are in a powerful monetary place and the fitting property turns into obtainable, they’ll take into account the acquisition.”

Important build-up in money reserves

Jaclyn Hope is a companion in PwC’s mergers and acquisitions staff, with a selected deal with the meals and agribusiness sector.

Jaclyn Hope PwC

She informed the gathering producers, notably on the east coast, had had three nice seasons and constructed important money reserves – mirrored by report excessive farm administration deposits (FMD) balances of circa $6 billion.

“Many farmers are cashed-up and are in purchase mode. There isn’t a doubt this could be at present offsetting or aiding conversations with their bankers round entry to new debt.”

Ms Hope mentioned the market had seen and anticipated to proceed to see, sturdy curiosity and robust valuations for good high quality agri-farmland belongings.

“Australian agribusinesses aren’t any stranger to adjusting operations to cater for financial, market and seasonal dynamics. As an example, for beef and sheep producers, there will probably be an elevated deal with stocking ranges and profitability evaluation round feed lotting and ending.”

Ms Hope mentioned agri-investors had been distinctive in the way in which they regarded ‘through-the-cycle’, taking a longer-term view when making investments.

She recognized three purchaser profiles:

  • Massive household farming teams – there was a rise of sizeable household farm operators behaving extra like company buyers.
  • Company / Institutional – looking for large-scale, asset-backed agribusinesses with sturdy cashflows.
  • Personal fairness – whereas this group has extra of a submit farm-gate focus, it additionally has an urge for food for built-in agribusinesses.

Relying on the asset or alternative, Ms Hope reviews sturdy inquiry from all purchaser teams.

“All sectors up and down the agriculture provide chain are displaying good inquiry together with mixture of home and international buyers,” she mentioned.

“Prime quality grazing and grain properties command probably the most consideration and demand for these belongings ought to proceed for the rest of the 12 months.”

“Vertically built-in operations are additionally attracting a premium pushed by scale, margin seize and danger administration.”

Like Ms Hope, Mr Childs operates in a market with establishments, corporates, excessive web worths and rich farming households.

“Many international and home buyers are at present looking for alternatives to deploy funds into Australian agricultural belongings,” he mentioned.

Spring predictions

Mr Childs believes extra properties will probably be listed this spring than within the two earlier years.

“Producers have been reluctant to promote as a result of a string of excellent seasons, excessive commodity costs, exceptionally low rates of interest and traditionally excessive capital development. With the tables turning, landowners at the moment are contemplating their choices,” he mentioned.