Farmland in the Riverina is booming with recent data showing values increased by 12.5 per cent in the past 12 months, adding to a whopping 20 per cent hike in 2019.
Inglis Rural property agent Sam Triggs pointed to the sale of the Southern Riverina Aggregation near Henty and Culcairn in the east to Walbundrie in the west for a whopping $44 million in November 2020 as a great example of the record-high sales currently sweeping the area.
"The Riverina is one of the hottest parts of eastern Australia in terms of growth of demand and increased productivity," Mr Triggs said. "In some areas down there I have seen 20 to 25 per cent growth."
Of the Southern Riverina Aggregation, he said the sale was highly indicative of the market in the area as it involved local buyers paying a premium price.
New data from the Rural Bank shows property values were up 12.5 per cent in the wider southern NSW area, including the Riverina, in 2020.
The hike marks the fourth annual year of growth in the area, with the number of transactions at a historic low as demand vastly outstrips supply.
The trends are in keeping with national growth, which was at 12.5 per cent in 2020, with an average growth of 15.6 per cent in NSW.
Rural Bank's regional manager for agribusiness Tony Williams said he had never seen a market like this one in 20 years on the job, and put the increasing value down to a mix of factors.
"The growth is down to low interest rates and high commodity prices, as well as the breaking of the drought," Mr Williams said.
"When there is a listing, there's six dozen people wanting to buy a property, it's incredible. The demand is as strong as I've seen it."
Agents on the ground predict upcoming sales will show just how valuable Riverina land has become.
Phil Schell from CBRE will manage the sale of the Schembri family's almond orchard in Tabbita near Griffith, which hit the market this week, and expected the 584ha property to sell for more than its $30 million asking price.
"We've got inquiries already on it from a number of groups," Mr Schell said, adding the property was put to market just days ago.
Mr Trigg agreed that upcoming prices should be remarkable.
He recently listed Brewarrana, a 3237ha mixed-farming property on the outskirts of Narrandra which he predicted would fetch anywhere between $16 million and $20 million.
As for the buyers, rather than an influx of foreign and metropolitan investment, all agree it is local farming units competing the most aggressively on the market.
"Family or neighbours make up the vast majority of buyers," Mr Williams said. "The majority are locals, that's what we're seeing."
Mr Trigg agreed local expansion was the biggest driver of sales he has seen, with exiting farms taking advantage of the interest rates.
"While debt is cheap, family farmers are expanding aggressively and outcompeting the corporates," he said.