A SUCCESSFUL auction last week of Tambellup farm Kylie saw the property purchased by a neighbouring farming family.
About 40 people attended the auction at the Tambellup Community Pavilion to see whether Tony and Louise Cristinelli's quality property would sell under the hammer and which concluded when Ray White Rural WA auctioneer Hugh Ness knocked his gavel down at $3.72 million.
With Kylie measuring 866 hectares, the sale prices equates to about $4296 per hectare.
The auction commenced with Mr Ness asking for a starting bid of $3.5m and the first buyer bid was placed at $3.2m.
Between three bidders, Mr Ness took bids in $50,000 increments which trickled down to $25,000 and then $10,000.
At the figure of $3.5m Mr Ness officially declared the property on the market and said it would sell at auction.
The bidding continued and Mr Ness announced the property sold with the final bid of $3.72m.
The auction lasted about six minutes.
While the buyers' identity remained undisclosed, they are a well established mixed farming family who neighbour the Cristinelli's Kylie property.
Having lived on the property on Tambellup West Road, Tambellup for 25 years, Mr and Mrs Cristinelli decided to sell with future plans to retire in Albany.
Mr Cristinelli said the auction result was a "good outcome" and was the last parcel of their farming operation to sell.
They focussed on farming Merinos, with 80 per cent of the operation dedicated to sheep and 20pc to grain.
With some excellent seasons for sheep farming experienced recently and over his farming career of 45 years, sheep hold a special place in Mr Cristinelli's heart.
"I loved the lifestyle of farming, working with sheep and shearing," he said.
A highlight of farming for Mr Cristinelli was the high of the wool prices in 1988.
"The prices of sheep and wool have been good for the past six to eight years," he said.
The property was marketed by Ray White Rural WA rural sales representative Mike Batchelor who said he received extensive interest in the property prior to the auction.
"The sale price is indicative of where I think the market is and it is in the range of what I expected," Mr Batchelor said.
Comparing the price on a per hectare basis, Mr Batchelor, who services the Great Southern from west of Kojonup, south to Stirling and out east to Bremer Bay, said the sale was on a similar level to other properties sold in the region over the past 12 months.
"Based on limited sales so far this year, compared to this time last year, they look to have remained stable," he said.
He said rainfall was one of the major factors which made some properties more sought after than others.
In Rural Bank's 2018 Australian Farmland Values report, which is the most detailed report on WA rural land values, it recorded a median value of $3915/ha for the Broomehill-Tambellup region and 7.2pc growth from 2017.
Mr Ness said there has been considerable consolidation of farmland over the past decade.
"Family farms have consolidated significantly, we have had an immense amount of corporate activity in the marketplace and what this has done over the past decade is dry up the supply of farmland," Mr Ness said.
"Good quality farmland is in severe shortage everywhere around the State... and it's not going to get any better.
"So I suppose with that, we (were) offering an opportunity to buy a prime piece of Great Southern real estate, we also have low interest rates - it's cheaper to buy than it is to lease - we have had a great season and the Great Southern is probably the pick of the State by some.
"We have generally pretty strong commodity prices and we (had) a vendor who has set what we believe (was) a realistic reserve price, a price that we think (was) in line with market expectations of today."