Top five livestock regions of 2021 - Elders Rural Services
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Top five livestock regions of 2021

Thanks to the release of the new Elders Rural Property Update, we now have the capability to draw on every rural land sale over 40 hectares.

This begs the question –  which livestock dominant regions top the list in 2021?

Instead of just looking at median price growth which is only one metric to consider when assessing the rural property market, we draw on multiple insights from the database.

This exercise isn’t designed to fit a specific investment, it’s purely hypothetical and a means to demonstrate how this data can be used to rank regions across Australia depending on the circumstances of the investor.

It’s a fun and insightful way to compare different regions across Australia and a chance to learn something about a region you may have never heard of or considered.

Matt Ough, author of the Elders Rural Property Update came up with the criteria below, asked Elders Real Estate specialists in each region for the inside knowledge on what makes that region so appealing.

The selection criteria

  • Two double digit quarters of growth in median price per hectare in 2021
  • A rolling one-year median price per hectare growth rate of over 3 per cent (pc) per quarter
  • Liquidity of over 10 transactions per quarter
  • Low variance in median growth over the past three years
  • Ranked according to quarterly compound average growth rate for 2021.

To read the findings, simply click on each region to view the historic trend for median price per hectare, transaction volume and why our Elders Real Estate experts believe their region stands out from the rest.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for Central Queensland.


Major rural centres: Emerald, Gayndah, Moranbah, Rockhampton and Taroom.

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Beef cattle are the major livestock enterprise in the region.

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The rolling 1 year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 7 pc in 2021.

“Central Queensland covers a vast area containing more cattle than the whole of the Northern Territory. The region is very important for the beef industry and its home to several large family farms which are quick to purchase neighbouring properties when the opportunity comes up.”

“Much of the region has been developed over the years, with improved pastures and legumes offering vigorous growth potential in response to rainfall.

“Undoubtedly a surge in cattle prices combined with low interest rates and improved seasonal conditions has led to a scenario of very high demand for grazing properties. Buyers in the region are looking into land purchases as being more secure and having greater returns than money in the bank, they see land as having a better rate of return in the long run.” – Virgil Kenny, Elders Real Estate, Rockhampton.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for Central Queensland.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for South Queensland.

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Major rural centres: Bundaberg, Dalby, Gympie, Kingaroy, Toowoomba and Warwick.

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Beef cattle are the major livestock enterprise in the region.

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The rolling 1 year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 7.4 pc in 2021.

“South Queensland is a region with proximity to several desirable rural centres as well as the city of Brisbane. There’s a larger population compared to other grazing regions around the country.”

“These factors, when combined with favourable commodity prices and low interest rates, create a scenario where there’s multiple types of buyers for a listing. As a result, demand remains very high compared to supply, pushing prices higher.

“While local graziers do compete for neighbouring properties, outside buyers seeking a multi title property as both a future subdivision opportunity and a reliable farm, make up a large percentage of the market.” – Trevor Leishman, Elders Real Estate, Toowoomba.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for South Queensland.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for south-east Western Australia.

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Major rural centres: Boyup Brook, Bunbury, Donnybrook, Harvey, Manjimup and Margaret River.

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South-West WA is a mixed livestock region with beef, dairy, sheep and wool.

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The rolling 1 year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 8.1 pc in 2021.

“Following a number of years of stable prices and limited growth, farmland values in the south-west have definitely seen significant uplift in the past 24 months.”

“This growth has in large part been aided by strong cattle prices, low interest rates and only a limited number of properties coming onto the market.

“For a period, large areas of ex-Blue Gum plantations were offered to the market, with many of these having been purchased by farmers and reverted to productive grazing land. However, far fewer ex-plantation properties are coming onto the market today.

“Horticulture, viticulture, lifestyle and forestry also play an important role in the south-west property market, with demand from these buyers also strengthening in the past 24 months.

“Historically, land in the south-west has sold at a large premium to most copping and mixed farming areas of WA, however this gap as a percentage has narrowed whilst land values in many of those areas have grown at an even faster rate.” – Simon Cheetham, State Manager Real Estate, WA.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for south-west WA.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for south-east South Australia.

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Major rural centres: Kingston, Naracoorte, Millicent, Mount Gambier and Robe.

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South-East SA is a mixed livestock region with beef, dairy, sheep and wool.

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The rolling 1 year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 8.4 pc in 2021.

“The south-east region enjoys proximity to several markets with infrastructure creating a seamless link to South Australian ports and processing facilities but also quick access to Victorian markets with links to Portland.”

“Access to water is a key consideration in the region, adding reliability and a scenario whereby intensive farming has grown and will likely continue to grow, offering further support for land prices.

“In 2021 obviously red meat prices increased confidence in the rural property market, however, the trend in rising confidence extends beyond the recent peaks. Evidence of beef prices holding firm in 2022 highlights strong underlying demand for the product.

“We expect demand for listed properties to remain high, but the level of strategic decision making is something that’s increased. Buyers are putting more consideration into ticking off things like balanced soil type and property presentation. There’s certainly potential for further growth in land prices, especially when viewing the whole picture.”- Grant Schubert, Elders Real Estate, South-East South Australia.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for south-east South Australia.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for north-east Victoria.

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Major rural centres: Alexandra, Benalla, Mansfield, Wangaratta and Wodonga.

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Beef cattle are the major livestock enterprise followed by sheep, dairy and wool.

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The rolling 1 year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 10.3 pc in 2021.

“The region is renowned for its reliability, proximity and diversity of enterprises. Large rural centres add an element of interest for lifestyle properties, while reliable rainfall and efficient access to a variety of markets make it an attractive region for livestock producers.”

“Smaller parcels were transacted at a higher rate in 2021, however the strongest increase in median price per hectare was for larger properties. Buyers have drawn confidence from high commodity prices and good long-term prospects for both profitability and capital growth.

“Like most regions, demand has exceeded supply, a trend which is likely to continue.” – Nick Myer, State Real Estate Manager, Victoria and Riverina.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for north-east Victoria.

Common trends among the top five

The obvious blanket factor of the past decade has been declining interest rates, but that’s something that needs to be backed by profitability on-farm in order to justify a property purchase.

Commodity price has been a linking factor between regions along with favourable seasonal conditions.

Beef cattle prices have had a major impact on median price per hectare growth in livestock regions across the country. That’s not to downplay the impact of a reliable lamb market or high milk prices.

Average national trade steer prices increased by 29 pc in 2021 but it’s been the price increase since 2019 which highlights the significance of beef cattle prices in the appreciation of rural property values.

Since 2019 average national trade steer prices have increased by 71.2 pc, holding at an average peak of between 535-546 c/kg live weight since October 2021. The rapid price increase coincides with a change in weather pattern conducive to restocking at a point of low supply. Queensland was the state with the most to gain from this combination after a tough period of drought and stagnant property prices.

In contrast, average trade lamb prices increased by 6 pc in 2021 and 12.4 pc since 2019. However, lamb prices have been steadily trending higher for several years underpinning property purchases in mixed farming regions of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

Another key factor is the impact of proximity to rural centres and lifestyle appeal, bringing together a diverse range of buyers.

Since 2019 transaction volume in the 40-50 hectare segment of the market has increased by 35.9 pc across Australia, driven in part by lifestyle buyers and investors but also by demand from graziers in regions where parcel size is naturally smaller such as north-east Victoria and south-west Western Australia. The result is ultimately more competition for land around regional centres and more incentive for sellers to list.

The list of common factors could go on and on, generational change is another driver which has anecdotally resulted in a higher volume of listings in several regions across the country.

Perhaps some of the regions were a surprise or perhaps some were already on your radar.

To keep tabs on these regions and wider state analysis during 2022, subscribe to Elders Rural Property Update.

To find out more about your own region contact your local Elders real estate manager.

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Source data provided by Corelogic and analysed by Elders.

The information contained in this article is only general and while we have provided this information in good faith and based on what we believe are accurate sources, the information may not be complete or accurate for your purposes. The information provided does not take into account everyone’s individual situation. General information should not be relied on instead of professional advice specifically directed to you and your circumstances. We are not responsible for any actions taken as a result of you relying on or in any way using information contained in this article and will not be liable for any damages resulting from your reliance on or use of this information.