Gladys Downs sold for easily the highest for the Augathella district on a per-hectare basis.
Gladys Downs sold for easily the highest for the Augathella district on a per-hectare basis.

Three Maranoa properties sell for $10 million-plus

IN 2019 three properties across the Maranoa were sold well-above the $10 million mark, but market experts fear the ongoing drought could push down prices.

Last year saw the $20 million deal finalised for the Gladys Downs property in Augathella just before Christmas while two properties in Roma and Taroom sold for $10.5 million-dollars and $13.9 million-dollars respectively.

Darryl Langton from Landmark said 2019 proved to be an exceptional sale year anchored by these three big sales. However, listings for 2020 have been a little slower because of the dry conditions.

"We've looked at several grazing properties that will come onto the market in the next few months, but we just need a bit more rain," he said.

Mr Langton said due to the drought, people are having to spend large amounts of money maintaining their stock, supplementary feeding and feeding cattle.

"That's obviously a drain on the balance sheet and finances," he said.

"But when it rains, it will allow people not to incur those costs.

"Some grazing families are outlaying $1000 to $10,000 each week so when it rains, it'll allow to people put these costs towards other things," he said.

Mr Langton believes the fundamentals of the rural property market are very strong.

"There are low and stable interest rates and pretty good borrowing conditions for producers wanting to expand," he said.

"The farm gate prices in terms of proteins like sheep, beef, goat meat is looking strong and our grain outlook is looking good.

"The blip in all of this is the expenditure period of dry weather."

Mr Langton said in terms of what it costs producers to feed cattle, a lot of producers are forced to sell their herd and are less likely to expand until they rebuild some cattle and sheep numbers.

"We have four rural properties to market this year, but they require a bit more follow up rain before we commence marketing them," he said.

"When we get a bit of rain and the dams will be full, the properties will get nice green grass and it'll be a positive outlook."

In terms of residential properties in the area, both Mr Langton and Athol Cleland from Raine and Horne believe the market is flat.

"We would be selling houses at about 60-70 per cent of what they would have been worth a few years ago," Mr Cleland said.

"We are slowly starting to see the sector get going again and the residential market is showing some encouraging signs but there's often a boom then a bust," Mr Langton said.

In terms of hobby lifestyle farms, they're still sought after and in popular demand.

"Generally see a lot of grazing families who live out of town and move closer to town so there's a strong demand for good, quality acreage," Mr Langton said.

"The drought makes it tough, but these farmers are very resilient and once they don't have to get an engine going or cart feed, they will be able to shut down and we will feel the shift in the town again," Mr Cleland said.


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