OVERSEAS and interstate interest in agricultural land in the Sunraysia region has increased remarkably since the start of the year according to one of Mildura’s long established real estate firms.
Roccisano Property Group agribusiness specialist estate agent, Michael DePalma, says there is a growing amount of foreign investor inquiry.
He said the inquiry is from both interstate and overseas interests looking for suitable land to grow different varieties of fruit, almonds, vegetables and avocados.
Mr DePalma says since the beginning of 2015 its office has regularly each month received inquiries from around Australia and overseas but predominantly from across Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, the United States and China.
He says the US and Chinese interests he has been involved with are well prepared and prior to an inquiry and many prefer to conduct personal tours of the area rather than communicate solely via technology.
“They are mostly personal visits rather than approaching us via the Internet,” Mr DePalma said.
“They have done their homework and they are flying out here with agronomists.
“I spent last week driving around the area with some overseas people.”
He says there is a noticeably marked interest this year in property suitable to grow almonds and avocados with potential buyers looking for land ranging from around 202ha up to and over 404ha.
The news of increased interest in land suitable to grow an assortment of horticultural crops comes after the Roccisano Property Group reported it had negotiated the most lucrative market garden property transaction in its history on September 10.
A Happy Valley 939 hectare market garden with substantial warehouse coolroom sheds and significant improvements, plus an abnormally large water licence, sold at auction for $11,500,000.
Mr DePalma says Melbourne based interests bought the mixed vegetable production property and indicated it will remain operating as a market garden.
The property has about 900ha with underground mains to supply fixed sprinklers supplied from a 500 megalitre plastic lined dam. The property was sold with a licence to use 4999 megalitres of high reliable water annually that it draws from the Murray River using two 200 horsepower pumps.
Mr DePalma says prior to the auction the interest was “huge” with multiple inquiries coming from Victoria, Queensland and NSW as well as the USA and China.
He says before the auction there was three interested parties but only one of these bid and succeeded on the day.
Mr DePalma says the sale of the Happy Valley property has set a new benchmark value for market garden properties in the Sunraysia area.
He says it was the firm’s highest recorded sale price for a single market garden property in the company’s 40 years of agricultural real estate sales.