Neighbours pounce on local land sales to drive high farm prices

Chris McLennan
By Chris McLennan
February 8 2022 - 8:30pm
LOTS OF INTEREST: Telusa on the Eyre Peninsula was one of the largest cropping opportunities to come to market in recent years. Pictures: CBRE.

Neighbours continue to drive up farm prices by taking advantage of a generational opportunity to expand their holdings.

The perfect financial storm of low interest rates and high commodity prices means it is time to pounce on any local land coming onto the market.

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This is the experience of Phil Schell and Angus Bills from CBRE Agribusiness with some stunning results being paid for farmland in South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

"This is not a market bubble," Mr Bills said.

"Demand continues to outstrip supply and prices have grown by more than 20 per cent per annum since 2019 in some regions."

He said price rises are being led by local farming families seeking expansion and growth opportunities which are dominating the buyer market.

The CBRE pair were commenting on the huge interest in one of the largest dryland cropping farms to come onto the market in recent years in South Australia's sought after Eyre Peninsula.

The 988 hectare (2466 acre) Telusa in Cleve Hills was held by the same family for four generations and is now under contract, due to settle next month.

Telusa has been in the same family since the early-1900s, from Martin Hannemann's acquisition of the site from the government through to the ownership of his great-grandson Andrew Story and his wife Rebecca.

Telusa's current owners have recorded an annual average rainfall of 420mm.

After the sale the farm is back in the Hannemann name, with its purchase by two neighbouring parts of the Hannemann family who are expanding their existing operations.

Agents did not disclose the sale price but had expected offers in the $6.5-$7 million range to price the land at about $6741ha or $2700ac.

The CBRE pair said they had fielded 50 inquiries and 15 property inspections for recent sales in the area.

"The Eyre Peninsula is well-known as a cropping region, and Telusa attracted significant interest," Mr Schell said.

"We are seeing strong interest in cropping and livestock properties of all sizes."

CBRE is also managing the sale of the 1622ha (4008ac) Hillridge near Kimba with offers around $1.2 million (or $300ac) anticipated.

Telusa was converted from livestock to a cropping operation in 2013.

While Eyre Peninsula farmland is in hot demand, Mr Bills said the interest in Telusa reflected a state-wide trend.

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"Buyer confidence in South Australia continues to rise on the back of above-average production, and high grain and meat prices," Mr Bills said.

"Corporate interest is also strengthening, seeking scale in cropping in all districts, and given its reliable rainfall and quality pastures, south-east grazing properties are also highly sought after."

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Chris McLennan

Chris McLennan

National Rural Property Writer

ACM national rural property writer based in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. Career journalist. Multi award winner.

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