Strong WA sales reflect call for higher-rainfall country

Linda Rowley, April 5, 2024

STRONG sale results have been achieved by two farms in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt, with rural sales specialist Steve Wright reporting widespread interest.

For more than 40 years, the Narrogin-based Nutrien Harcourts agent has been specialising in the rural real estate market,  in particular, the Central Wheatbelt and the Upper Great Southern.

Mr Wright notes motivated purchasers are coming from all quarters, including offshore, interstate, local, corporate and family corporate interests, as well as investors.

“Buyers are seeking higher-rainfall areas with a long-term outlook to grain production,” Mr Wright said.

Canola is included in Wagabawering Spring’s cropping mix. Photo: Nutrien Harcourts Narrogin

Interestingly, Mr Wright reports a number of farmers who are currently leasing their properties are beginning to make contact as their leases draw to an end.

“They are particularly keen to hear what their property is worth and where the market for selling may be heading.”

Mr Wright said like many areas across WA, the rural property market has seen some bullish returns for sellers over the past five years.

“These highs may begin to level out as more lessors begin to offer their properties up for sale in what is a very ‘strong’ market.”

“As these properties begin to appear, this will offer greater opportunity to those looking to buy and I believe supply and demand will begin to impact the market.”

Mr Wright does not believe leasing values have kept up with sales value.

“This is understandable. as the term of the lease is finite and market conditions have an immediate effect versus the longer term advantages of buying the land.”

Recently, Mr Wright wrapped up two significant listings for more than $40 million.


Described as one of the best properties to ever come to the market, the 9910ha Amaroo exceeded expectations selling for more than $25M to a near local farmer.

The quality, turnkey mixed-farming operation is situated 25km east of Kulin in WA’s Eastern Wheatbelt region, and 290km from the port of Kwinana.

Originally settled in 1927 by John Hodgson, who had been farming in the Yealering district since 1908, it was sold by descendant Geoffrey Hodgson and his wife Cathy.

Amaroo, which means “beautiful country”, features undulating country with granite outcrops and medium to heavier loams.

A wheat crop on Amaroo at Kulin, WA. Photo: Nutrien Harcourts Narrogin

The property has been independently mapped with 69 percent or 6866ha available for cropping.

Last year, the cropping program included 2532ha of wheat, 620ha of barley and 180ha of oats.

The balance comprises natural timber areas and salt bush grazing that can run around 6000 sheep.

Over the past 20 years, the Hodgsons have erected around 100km of new fencing, with the property fenced  into 88 main paddocks.

Amaroo is watered by 38 dams, with three equipped with solar pumps.

Scheme water is connected, and an additional supply is available from a government catchment.

Improvements include five homes, a shearing shed, four steel sheep yards, numerous sheds and 29 silos.

Wagabawering Spring

Spanning close to 4000ha, the Wagabawering Spring aggregation, comprising four farms close to Yealering, sold to three locals for expansion for around $16M.

It was listed by the Hill family after four generations and more than 100 years of single-family ownership to enable retirement.

The country was originally taken up in 1909 by Edmund Jackson after arriving from York in the United Kingdom.

Over time, family members transformed Wagabawering Spring from a mixed enterprise focussed on wool production to cropping.

For the past 10 years, it has been continually cropped employing modern practices.

The aggregation features undulating country with mostly medium soils.

Independent mapping has determined 82 percent, or 3210ha, of the property is suitable for cropping.

Last year, the cropping program comprised 949ha of wheat, 881ha of barley, 928ha of canola and 457ha of lupins.

Over the past five seasons, the vendor’s yields have averaged 2.75t/ha of barley, 2.64t/ha of wheat, 1.4t/ha of lupins and 1.1t/ha of canola.

When Wagabawering Spring was listed for sale in June last year, it was offered with a robust fertiliser history, including impressive input rates and a regular soil-testing program.

Scheme water is connected to some of the properties supported by soaks, dams and bores.

The balance of the country has natural timbers, salt bush grazing, shade, fence lines and waterways.

Wagabawering Spring can also run sheep.

Improvements including a shearing shed and yards, three homes, 20 sheds and 20 silos.

The aggregation comprises:

  • The 1164ha Geetabin, 30km from Corrigin, listed for more than $6.5M made around $3200 per arable acre;
  • The 1118ha Osmaston, 5km south-east of Yealering, also offered above $6.5M sold for around $3200 per arable acre;
  • The 425ha Karradene, 9km south-west of Yealering, featuring an older home and several sheds, sold for around $3500 per arable acre. It was listed for offers above $2.9M;
  • The home block, the 1216ha Wagabawering Spring, featuring most of the improvements, is located 16km from Yealering. It failed to sell and has been leased for a three-year term.

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