- Comes despite drought conditions in recent years and tough business conditions
- 'The Patrick" has broken a local sales record - at over $1000 per hectare
- LAWD predicts market to remain strong this year
Thanks to a sharp uplift in land values over the past 12 to 18 months, central west Queensland has emerged as one of the strongest performing markets in Australia.
This may come as a surprise given the capital city markets, and certain coastal areas such as Byron Bay, comprise much of the attention when discussing high performing housing markets.
It is also a surprise given drought conditions in recent years, along with overall tough business conditions.
However, buyers and investors have been drawn to the Central West thanks to the high quality of the grazing land, according to LAWD senior director and agricultural valuer, Tim McKinnon.
“What we have seen is a rapid increase in values in areas further inland having a knock-on effect in pushing both the family-owned enterprises and corporates, which have been unsuccessful in securing land near places like Emerald and Roma, to the west,” Mr McKinnon said.
“All of this price activity is underwritten by a foundation of record high cattle prices, low interest rates and strong seasonal conditions, and in the Central West a return to consistent rainfall after 10 to 15 years of very dry weather has been an additional influencing factor driving local values.”
“For years beef businesses were doing it tough with stagnant cattle prices, drought conditions and higher interest rates, and that was pushing down on values in pastoral regions, however younger families now have the confidence to come back to the farm business.”
Mr McKinnon added that the area has attracted attention thanks to larger breeding operations in the north and is nearer to key markets.
“It also has very good road access to southern feedlots,” he added.
One of the most notable transactions in the area includes “The Patrick”.
Settled in December 2021, the 16,547 hectare district holding in Barcaldine – of which 12,155 hectares was freehold with the balance leasehold – sold for $1,057 per hectare.
This record-breaking price placed it ahead of the previous regional record, which was for the Boorara Aggregation In January 2021, which sold for $988 per hectare.
Andrew Kibble, The Patrick vendor, who oversees a portfolio of rural properties throughout both Queensland and New South Wales, said the sale of “The Patrick” was reflective of a strategic relocation of capital that facilities broadscale investment across the agricultural sector.
“We find the Barcaldine area excellent given its vicinity to livestock selling centres such as Roma and Dalby, where stock can be transported without the requirement for spelling,” Mr Kibble said.
“We’ve been actively seeking a larger holding either in the Central West or the Northern Territory which we will use to, along with our other breeding properties, feed stock into our backgrounding country at Glenmorgan.
“I am now very focused on improving our next- door aggregation, “Barcaldine Downs”, and pursuing a large expansion in the agriculture sector.”
Simon Cudmore, LAWD director and the marketing agent for “The Patrick” added he forecast ongoing demand for 2022.
“I would expect that holdings that have benefited from an average or better wet season will continue to be in demand throughout this year, with the continuation of a positive commodity outlook and low interest rates maintaining a high level of producer confidence,” he concluded.