Rewarding Esperance challenge

31 Jul, 2002 10:00 PM
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ALTHOUGH National Mutual Esperance Rural Properties farm Wittenoom Hills was sold for $6.15m during the 2001/02 selling season, it failed to make Farm Weekly's recent Top 10 WA Broadacre Property Sales summary due to its multi-listing.

The premier property sale would have placed it as WA's second most expensive broadacre farm sold between July 2001 and June 2002, after Lachland McTaggart's Gunwarrie.

The Wittenoom Hills package was compiled and sold by Elders Real Estate sales specialist Brad McMeikan, Esperance, to three family farming identies in the region.

A total of 4340ha sold to one family under four different names for $2.52m, while 3663ha sold for $2.185m and 1800ha for $1.445m.

Mr McMeikan described the sale as the ultimate challenge in real estate.

However, it was a challenge that won him the prestigious title of Elders Real Estate sales person of the year after he sold $19.34m worth of rural property from the National Mutual Esperance Rural Properties alone.

"Putting the Wittenoom Hills package together was a very complicated process, which required some very delicate negotiations," he said.

"The sales of Wittenoom Hills not only required a lot of negaotation; delicate negotiation in the sale of the purchasers' properties was required as well.

"It was definitely a challenge to get that one over the line."

Mr McMeikan described Wittenoom Hills as one of the most highly sought after of all the properties.

More than 20 potential buyers inspected the property, according to Mr McMeikan, so a lot of people missed out.

With its heavier soil types generating a lot of interest despite Wittenoom Hills soil types ranging from sandplain to medium to heavy types, Mr McMeikan said it was difficult compiling suitable packages for buyers and the package for National Mutual Esperance Rural Properties.

Traditionally, sheep were farmed on 50pc of the property, while the other 50pc was cropped.

Two of the three purchasers are cropping their entire parcel but the third has opted to undertake mixed farming with sheep, cattle and crops.

Consisting of 11 freehold titles over 9,803ha (24,223ac), former agents had hailed the property as a productive mixed farming property with an excellent cropping record situated in a reliable and well-regarded farming district close to the Esperance township.

In 2000, 6583t of wheat, barley, oats, lupins, canola and pulses were harvested.

Supported by a 465mm annual rainfall and 56 dams (four of which have mills), in 1999 Wittenoom Hills turned off 266 calves and 7950 lambs, with 740 bales of wool pressed from the 12,884 sheep with lambs at foot that were run on the property.

A South African Meat Merino (SAMM) breeding program was introduced a few years ago.

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