Horticultural sales markets in Mildura hasten dramatically: HTW

Horticultural sales markets in Mildura hasten dramatically: HTW
Horticultural sales markets in Mildura hasten dramatically: HTW

The property market for large scale horticultural enterprises in the Sunraysia region has shifted dramatically over recent years, according to Herron Todd White’s latest report.

The property valuation firm says that in the period from 2007 to 2014, properties would be advertised extensively and selling periods would often extend over 12 months.

In the past year or so, there have been numerous examples of owners of large properties receiving unsolicited approaches from corporate buyers (or their brokers) wishing to buy their property.

“We are regularly being asked by owners of these properties for advice on what they should do.

Additionally we are consistently receiving requests from agents for help in identifying the ownership of or suitable properties which may fit their investment strategies,” the report stated.

Corporate buyers appear most motivated to buy properties which have scope to complete further development, reinforcing their belief that the current good returns from industries such as table grapes, citrus and almonds will be maintained for some time to come.

“As we reported in the February edition there were three sales of substantial table grape enterprises in the latter half of 2016, with the buyers being two separate international investment funds and a recently listed Australian agribusiness company.

The strong demand appears to have continued into the early part of 2017, noting that we are aware of negotiations for the purchase of a number of properties,” the report stated.

There are also currently a number of companies either overtly or covertly scoping out suitable properties to develop large scale, flat plate solar farms.

It is not clear at this stage whether any of these proponents will end up buying and developing the properties for this use, however there appears to be some current momentum for this to happen.

The first of such proponents, Overland Sun Farming, recently launched its $500 million plans to build three large scale solar farms at Yatpool, Iraak and Wemen (all south of Mildura) commencing in June 2017.

It is expected that the total combined output will be 320 megawatts which is enough to power all households in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

Whilst previous proposed projects have failed to materialise in the region the current operators reportedly have the funding and contractual arrangements in place to ensure these projects will be built and operational by early 2018.

Whilst traditionally sale activity in the cropping and pastoral sectors in the December to February time frame is generally low Herron Todd White notes that there has been some good sales activity.

Thurla Farms at Redcliff (above) has been listed for sale.

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