Auction sale exceeds Elders' expectations

Auction sale exceeds Elders' expectations

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Marshalls, McAlinden, was sold to the Fowler family, Williams from a partnership between two Japanese-owned companies.

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Elders real estate auctioneer and sales executive WA Rural, Jim Sangalli (left), with buyers Henry and Ben Fowler, Phil Uren from Nippon Paper Pty Ltd's Bunbury Treefarm Project, buyer George Fowler, Elders rural sales specialist and selling agent Adrian Corker and seller Tetsuya Abe, Nippon Paper Pty Ltd. Photo: Elders.

Elders real estate auctioneer and sales executive WA Rural, Jim Sangalli (left), with buyers Henry and Ben Fowler, Phil Uren from Nippon Paper Pty Ltd's Bunbury Treefarm Project, buyer George Fowler, Elders rural sales specialist and selling agent Adrian Corker and seller Tetsuya Abe, Nippon Paper Pty Ltd. Photo: Elders.

JAPANESE-owned property Marshalls, McAlinden, was sold at auction recently to Williams-based farmer Ben Fowler and family, of Contine Pty Ltd.

The hammer fell at $3.675 million and measuring 1050 hectares, the price equates to $3500 per hectare.

The property was owned under a partnership between Nippon Paper Pty Ltd and Mitsui Pty Ltd, which are both subsidiary businesses of Japanese companies.

Nippon Paper Pty Ltd's parent company is Nippon Paper Group, which is involved in paper manufacturing and other related businesses.

Mitsui Pty Ltd is owned under Mitsui & Co, an investment, trading and services company.

According to its website, in Australia Mitsui manages a diverse portfolio of businesses in industries including iron ore, coal, oil, gas, power generation, transportation, construction and mining machinery, chemicals, steel products, woodchips, salt, food, and financial services.

Mr Fowler declined to comment on the sale but it's understood he owns the two adjoining properties, which prompted his decision to buy Marshalls.

It's believed the Fowlers plan to convert the property back to farmland.

Between 70 and 80 people attended the auction at Mumby Tavern, Mumballup, which saw two bidders go head to head for the property.

The property was marketed by Elders rural sales specialist Adrian Corker, Bunbury, who said the sale price was higher than he anticipated.

"The price exceeded my expectations, but it is a good indication of the market," Mr Corker said.

The property had formerly been a bluegum plantation and was recently harvested.

Prior to the 20 plus years of it being a plantation, Mr Corker said Marshalls had been productive farmland.

"A fair bit of work needs to be done on the property to bring it back to a farm, but it was a good farm before it went into bluegums," he said.

"It is very good, typical McAlinden country that is highly profitable and effective."

Mr Corker said he received lots of interest in the property prior to going to auction.

"Probably 12 parties showed interest in the property, all with a varying degree of opinion on what it was worth."

Elders real estate sales executive - WA Rural, Jim Sangalli, auctioned the property and also said that the sale price of $3.675m exceeded expectations.

"The price was better than expected and there was excellent buyer competition," Mr Sangalli said.

Given the price that was achieved for Marshalls, Mr Sangalli said, "certainly for neighbours in that region, their land values will be influenced probably in the upward direction".

"The standout part of this auction was the interest that was shown from buyers from all areas of the southern part of the State," he said.

"There was interest not only locally but also from farmers in other regions.

"People are very positive about good chunks of agricultural land, because this was 1050ha and that size acreage in that region is very hard to find, especially without a lot of fixed improvements so people weren't paying for houses etc."

Mr Sangalli said the lack of infrastructure most likely aided in the sale, as it was presented as a good add-on property in a reliable rainfall region.

As the rural real estate market is set to ramp up in the next coming months, Mr Sangalli said the company's biggest challenge would be finding properties to sell.

But he said positivity in the industry was strong.

"Never in my time in the business have I seen all commodities so positive and interest rates so low, so it is a very positive scenario," he said.

"With the current confidence in the market, I would think that the spring and summer selling campaigns will be positive, with few opportunities in tightly held areas."

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