SALES of agricultural land across Australia in the 12 months to August reached $14.5 billion, slightly down on the previous month because of the traditional winter slowdown.
But while the total was less than the $14.94 billion recorded-worth in the year to May, a store of big-deal plans is likely to send sales data soaring into the new year.
Landmark Harcourts' rolling three-monthly Benchmark rural property report, compiled by CoreLogic RP Data, shows sales in all the states and territory were down or on a par with previous results.
Just over $6.7 billion worth of sales in NSW were recorded over the year to August, down from the $6.9 billion in sales recorded in the year to May.
Landmark Harcourts' NSW state manager Phil Rourke said it was important to look through the winter sales period.
"This spring compared to last spring is about 10 per cent stronger in terms of value," Mr Rourke said.
Mr Rourke just sold grazing property Fullerton Station, near Crookwell, to a local farmer for $3.85 million, almost a 10 per cent premium to the property's value a year earlier.
In the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven Region of NSW, $114 million worth of properties between 40 and 100 hectares were sold in the 12-month period through 88 separate transactions.
In Victoria, $3.2 billion of sales were recorded for the year to August, down from the $3.4 billion in May.
Landmark's John Stringer said that while the sales figures dropped during the season, a lot of deals had transacted that will settle in December and January.
"This has actually been the best and biggest year I have ever had since 1981," Mr Stringer said.
He has just sold an 800-hectare grazing and cropping property called Rosemount, near Shepparton, to overseas interests for $2.4 million and has contracted to sell a 485-hectare property near Euroa called Springbank for $2.4 million.
He said more Melbourne-based professionals were entering the market.
Queensland had $1.5 billion-worth of sales, unchanged from May, but deals such as BRW Rich Lister Tom Strachan's purchase of the 7300-hectare Lighthouse station near Roma for $14 million and Chinese billionaire Xingfa Ma's purchase of Wentworth cattle station will lift the total.
Stand-out areas included the Darling Downs and Maranoa districts, with 90 sales of more than 1000 hectares, worth $222.5 million.
SA had $819 million in sales, down slightly from the $827 million recorded in 12 months to May. WA was unchanged with $1.6 billion in sales.
Just over $485 million of sales were recorded in Tasmania, marginally up on the $484.7 million in sales recorded in May. The recent acquisition by a foreign company of dairy farmer VDL Dairy, which was to be sold to listed company OnCard, will boost the sale figures significantly next quarter.
NT featured only $198 million of sales in the year to August, down from $225 million, but that is likely to change with some huge pastoral deals, including the sale of S.Kidman & Co stations and Macquarie group's Walhallow station to billionaire Brett Blundy, due to settle this week.