Median price per hectare for rural land rises for eighth year

2 May 2024
An article by  Alex McLaughlin

Australian rural property continues to prove a resilient, high performing asset with the eighth successive annual rise in the national $/ha median. Western Australia and Victoria were the strongest performing states.

In 2023, the rural property market continued to experience strong growth, posting the eighth successive annual rise in the national median to $8,625/ha, up 12% on 2022.

Elders General Manager Farmland Agency and Agribusiness Investments, Mark Barber, said property prices have been remarkably resilient, after facing some ‘headwinds’ including falling commodity prices, rising input costs and poor seasonal outlook through the early part of 2023.

“This latest rise pushes the five-year compound annual growth rate to 10.1%, a rate that, if sustained, would see property prices double every seven years. In comparison, these returns compare favourably to the top performing Australian equities and Sydney residential property,” Mr Barber said.

Prices stabilising, input costs lowering, improved weather conditions, and an expectation that interest rates would no longer rise helped lift confidence across the rural sector, driving price rises in the second half of 2023.

“By the end of 2023 we saw farmers' terms of trade start to recover, and seasonal conditions improved despite earlier dire predictions,” Mr Barber said.

“This led to a sharp rebound in farmers’ confidence and the softening of farmland values in the first half of the year reversed in the second half of the year."



State by state breakdown: how did your state compare?


The QLD rural property market continued to perform strongly throughout 2023, with the annual median registering further strong gains of 10.2% for the year to $6,927/ha.

Regional median trends

QLD price growth through the second half of 2023 has been driven by sales in northern and southern areas and more lately price growth across central regions.

A significant decline in sales was witnessed across QLD through Q4 2023. Reduction in sales activity was almost uniform across all regions of QLD with harvest activity slowing sales in the south and tight season conditions limiting activity across central and northern zones.

“The late start to the monsoon season across northern Australia, muted confidence somewhat through the later part of 2023. With seasonal conditions now filling in, confidence should improve, however, we have yet to witness any sustained buying momentum,said Tim Lane, State Real Estate Manager QLD/NT.

Pic: Elders Rural Property Update, Elders (2024).


New South Wales

Strong property price growth, albeit on lower volume, propelled the NSW rural property market to record levels. The annual median rose to $8,730/ ha, up 9.1%.

While the annual sales volume was lower in 2023 compared to 2022, there was a solid recovery in the second half of 2023. This combined with an improvement in prices, led to an upturn in the value of activity through the end of the year.

“It’s encouraging how quickly confidence rebounded from the first half of 2023. Certainly, the market seems to be much more relaxed about the outlook for seasonal conditions, commodity prices and interest costs, noted Richard Gemmell, Real Estate Sales Executive, NSW.

Regional median trends

Although the state-wide trend was positive in the second half of 2023, price trends across the regions were mixed.

Prices across the Hunter, Central Tablelands, the North West and the South East recovered strongly in Q3, but consolidated to weakened in Q4. North Coast values improved steadily, while Northern Tablelands and the Riverina Murray weakened in Q3 before improving strongly in Q4.

Pic: Elders Rural Property Update, Elders (2024).


The Victorian rural property market performed strongly throughout 2023 to register solid growth on lower volumes. With the solid spring/summer season, the annual median lifted 15.3% to $14,441/ha, registering the eighth successive year of gains.

Victoria has been one of the best performing rural property markets across Australia, with recent gains pushing the five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 12.7%.

“Whilst the market has witnessed a reset over the last 12 months across most sectors, there has still been a continuation of strong demand for quality rural and lifestyle assets in key regions of Victoria and Riverina,” Nick Myer, Real Estate Sales Executive VIC/TAS, said.

Regional median trends

Most Victorian regions followed the east coast trend with prices recovering from a short-term dip during Q2 to finish the year higher or close to year ago levels. The main exception was south central Victoria where values peaked in Q2 and consolidated at lower levels in Q3 and Q4 2023.

The proportion of sales was largely consistent across the regions, except in the Wimmera and Mallee where sales fell and in the South West where the proportion of all sales rose.

Pic: Elders Rural Property Update, Elders (2024).



Values started to trend strongly upwards since Q2 2023 to push the median value at the end of 2023 sharply higher to $16,674/ha, compared to $10,509/ha in 2022. This pushed the five-year average compound growth rate (CAGR) to 12.2%.

After a period of volatility in 2022, prices resumed along the long-term growth trendline in 2023.

Regional median trends

Price growth across Tasmania was led by the northern region, which showed growth through the majority of 2023. Values in the North West and South moderated towards the back end of 2023 after a period of solid growth through mid-2023. Sales volumes pulled back in Q4 after solid sales growth in Q3 2023. The volume of sales by region fluctuated around the state-wide trend.

Pic: Elders Rural Property Update, Elders (2024).


South Australia

Quarterly price trends across SA were lower through most of 2023 before posting a strong recovery during Q4 2023. However, the recovery was on the back of a sharp retraction in properties offered for sale when compared to levels in early 2023. Lower sales volumes were seen across most regions of SA.

Regional median trends

Regional price trends fluctuated across SA with the higher value, higher rainfall areas being variable around a higher price trend. Values in marginal areas were more volatile around the higher price trend.

“Land use within the regions of SA are so diverse it’s difficult to track quarterly trends in land values at a regional level … However, what is clear is the strong long-term upward trend in SA property values”, said Adam Chilicot, Real Estate Sales Executive, South Australia.


Pic: Elders Rural Property Update, Elders (2024).


Western Australia

The WA rural property market gathered momentum throughout 2023, pushing the annual median to $8,446, 17.6% above the 2022 median value.

Over the medium term, the WA rural property market was the strongest across Australia registering a stellar five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% (2016-2023).

Regional median trends

The Great Southern, Avon-Midland and Eastern wheatbelt have showed the strongest and most consistent growth. The Great Southern market has been supported by some international trading companies actively purchasing property to return to timber plantations.

“We have seen further growth in all rural asset classes across WA, probably strongest in the cropping zones south of the Great Eastern Highway and down to the South Coast of WA,” noted Simon Cheetham, Real Estate Sales Executive, WA.

"Forestry buyers remain aggressive in high rainfall zones with a renewed push from corporates to expand their holdings."

Pic: Elders Rural Property Update, Elders (2024).


Northern Territory

Property values in the NT tend to be more volatile than in the other states, with valuations being heavily tied towards access to South-East Asian feeder cattle markets.

Commentary around the impending changes to accessibility for NT cattle into South-East Asia was considered, as cattle need to be trucked into southern feeder/restocker markets and property values in the NT trade at a discount to similar southern properties servicing the same markets.

On a quarterly basis, prices moderated through the backend of 2023 after peaking at over $3000/ha in Q2 2023 on solid volume.

The report revealed NT experienced a decline in activity in 2023 when compared to 2022 with only $230m in property transacted compared to the heightened activity of $530m in 2022.

Regional median trends

Looking at sales on a regional basis, prices across the top-end sell at a large premium and have been reasonably solid. Values for NT properties outside of the top end (which can be affected by market conditions across the south), have recovered strongly since bottoming out in 2019 (drought and destocking across southern markets) with these levels maintained at around $1300/ha.

Pic: Elders Rural Property Update, Elders (2024).


Pictures and data were sourced from the Elders View. Find the full Quarter 4 2023 report here.


News that inspires, educates and celebrates life and work in regional Australia.