Sarina milestone: $32M in rural properties sold in a year
THE quest for sustainable living is one of the reasons for a purple patch in rural land sales near Sarina.
Ray White Rural Sarina principal Kent Street said he had sold more than $32 million worth of rural property in just more than a year.
He said he had been in the rural industry for 36 years, starting with livestock and property agents, and had his own business for the past 15 years but this was the biggest turnover he could recall.
"We deal with lifestyle buyers, cane farmers and the more serious cattleman," he said.
The highlight sales have been Bacchus Downs at Valkryie and Develin at Marlborough which contributed the lion's share at $26 million.
Mr Street said Bacchus Downs was attractive for its location and versatility, centre pivots and irrigation as well as a mix of livestock grazing country.
He said Develin had the capacity to run a couple of thousand head of cattle and its proximity to Rockhampton meant it was close to the meatworks and saleyards there.
"It's an affordable block for what it does," he said.
The balance of the properties have been all around Sarina.
"I think the larger property sales have been driven by property owners reinvesting in their industry and the shortage of good properties for sale," Mr Street said.
"The vast majority are livestock and there's a couple of little cane farms; not necessarily sold to cane farmers but cane farming will continue on them.
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"Once you get into the smaller blocks, there's a variety of buyers, from lifestyle buyers to those looking to expand.
"They could be looking to grow macadamia nuts or planning on self sustainability; running a few cows, chooks and planting a vegie garden.
"I think overall (during COVID) we've seen a positive outcome in terms of demand for property.
"There's a view out there that the more clean and green sustainable industries in Australia will be sought after long-term."
Mr Street said repeat business had formed part of the success, with clients often selling properties through his agency and then returning to get back into the market.
"The Vellas recently put their cane farm for sale on Brooks Rd and sold under the hammer," he said.
"We had sold property previously for the Vellas and the three bidders had also done business with us before either buying, selling or both.
"The person we sold Bacchus for, he's bought another property from us here, closer to civilisation."
In what is a family affair, Mr Street runs the agency with his wife Lesley, daughter Sophie and son Callum.
He said the residential side of the business had been fairly stable in Sarina since they opened in 2005, though the mining bust was felt there.
But Mr Street, who had to do conduct convoy inspections with buyers in separate vehicles during the early COVID days, believes the record low interest rates are prompting people to hop into the real estate market again now.
"I think those interest rates will be around for a long time so people are happy to get in," he said
"Or they are deciding to reinvest their money into land long-term as a secure investment.
"I think in the Sarina and Mackay area, there's room for some upside too given it hasn't moved much for a while."