A good crowd assembled on Tuesday last week at the Katanning Club to witness the auction of Owen and Sandy Boxall's Great Southern property Kinross, which had been in the family for almost 100 years.
The vendors enlisted Elders Real Estate Katanning and rural real estate sales specialist Ian Hanna to market the property and run the auction process.
Mr Hanna said the property attracted good interest from local farmers looking to expand their operations or consolidate in the area and there were eight registered bidders.
Kinross is an old established farm, taken up by Mr Boxall's relatives in 1924, with productive soil types and the key attraction of having access to the mains scheme water pipeline.
Elders senior rural real estate executive and auctioneer Simon Cheetham started the proceedings by giving the registered bidders the ability to start the bidding.
After the obligatory pause from the crowd, an opening bid of $3.5 million was put up.
When the bidding started in earnest, it continued steadily until reaching the final bid of $4.4m.
Elders Real Estate declined to comment on the identity of the buyer or their intentions, but Farm Weekly understands the property was purchased by a neighbouring farmer, in conjunction with another local grower.
Kinross is well located on the Kojonup-Katanning Road about 15 kilometres east of Kojonup and 25km west of Katanning.
The property has a mix of soils that, with an annual rainfall of about 500 millimetres, is well suited to growing canola, cereals and lupins - along with supporting livestock production.
The property is 416 hectares, with independent mapping showing an arable area of 343ha.
The price equates to $12,828 per arable hectare (or $5191 per arable acre).
Mr Boxall said this was probably not going to set a new benchmark for prices in the district as there were several key reasons for the price attained.
"The property was of a size that allowed many to consider it as an option," Mr Boxall said.
"It has productive soil types and the fact that it has scheme water and power lines running through it is a major bonus."
Mr Boxall said Kinross was a good farm and many local farmers had been keen to add it to their holdings.
"There is a feeling of sadness to see it go out of the family," he said.
"But we got a healthy price that will help set us up when we relocate."
Mr Boxall said the property was a bit small to be viable as a full-time farming operation and it had been leased out for the past eight to 10 years.
He said both neighbours had been very keen to secure the farm as an add-on to their holdings.
"So, we felt auction was the best and most fairest way to give everyone a chance to secure it," he said.
"It was the cleanest way of doing it."
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