Elgon Pastures sold at auction for $3.75m

Elgon Pastures sold at auction for $3.75m


Property
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Mixed farming property Elgon Pastures at Mt Barker sold at auction recently to a neighbouring farming family.

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MIXED farming property Elgon Pastures at Mt Barker sold at auction recently to a neighbouring farming family.

Marketed and auctioned by Ray White Rural Albany selling principal John Hetherington, the bidding process was quick, lasting less than a minute.

About 35 people attended the auction, where two bidders - both local farming families - went head-to-head for the premium listing.

The auction started at $2.8 million, with the hammer falling at $3.75m.

Most of the bids were in $50,000 increments.

A reserve price was not set but the auction was paused at $3.75m, when Mr Hetherington discussed options with vendors Stuart and Peter Irwin, before formally announcing the property was on the market.

After that, there were no more bids and Mr Hetherington declared the property sold.

The buyers were not disclosed but it's believed they plan to continue with a mixed farming operation, including running sheep, cattle and cropping.

With a sale price of $3.75m for the 633 hectare property, it equates to about $5924.2 per hectare.

"The sale price was slightly above my expectations," Mr Hetherington said.

He said he received a lot of interest in the property during the marketing process, including some offers prior to the auction.

"I still have a lot of buyers that missed out because there are so many people who want good quality farmland," he said.

"We did have a couple of offers early but between myself and the sellers, we were pretty adamant that we wanted to go to auction to see where the market really was."

Mr Hetherington said the sale of Elgon Pastures was slightly higher than previous sales, which is reflective of the positive market conditions.

"Hopefully it pulls a few more properties onto the market," he said.

"It shows that ludicrously reliable country down there - we're talking (760 millimetres of annual) rainfall and any year where there are some tough conditions, you are always going to have a good year in that good country."

With continual strong demand for farming properties being matched by limited supply, Mr Hetherington said it is a great time to sell.

He said demand was mostly from local farming families.

"I have sold about eight bigger properties since Christmas 2018 and all of them have gone to neighbours," he said.

"Interest rates are at an all-time low, farming commodity prices are at an all time high, so it is the perfect time to be selling."

When asked if he expects the market to continue on an upward trend, Mr Hetherington said "it's hard to know if land values are going to go any higher but they have gone up to here".

"That's why we wanted to go to auction, to see what people would be willing to pay," he said.

"I think the market is going to hold firm, I think we have hit a bit of a roof - it doesn't make any economic sense for people to pay any more."

Elgon Pastures was marketed as being a highly productive property with quality water and infrastructure equipped to suit a mixed farming operation.

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