The Best and The Worst

Short grass, healthy stock

About 160 years ago, Charles Dickens wrote the immortal words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” as the opening lines of his novel “A Tale of Two Cities”.

The line refers to the prosperity of England in the late 18th century, coinciding with the despair in France at the time of the French Revolution.

I may be being a little over dramatic, but the rural outlook has similarities. The drought conditions that have hit districts like the Hunter Valley hard, and have consequently put pressure on stock prices across the board, are in direct contrast to the rural property market.

Prices achieved for quality commercial scale holdings have shown no sign of easing, despite the unfavourable seasonal conditions in many parts.

This is a demonstration of commercial agriculture’s fundamentals being sound. Whilst the dry may be pressuring livestock prices in the short term, long term export market access, exchange rates, and cattle slaughter numbers are down as the national herd rebuilds.

So what to do now?

If you are considering the sale of your property or indeed consolidating your holdings, with winter approaching right now is the time to start thinking about the market in spring. It takes a while to get your head around the move to and from a farm, and the time to get things physically prepared should not be underestimated, either.

That said, if the time is right for you right now, then don’t hesitate. There is strong inquiry for all classes of rural property. I have heard it said, “the right time to sell is when someone wants to buy”. It is pretty simple.

In summary, get organised for spring but if you already are, don’t wait, even if the paddocks are bare.

If you would like to discuss the preparation for market of your rural property, I welcome your call.


Graham MacDougall
MacDougall Rural Property
02 6772 4200

Graham MacDougall has a lifetime association with rural property. In addition to over 30 years in the cattle industry, for the past 13 years he has been specialising in the marketing of commercial agriculture and rural lifestyle properties in northern New South Wales.

With global exposure and real local knowledge, we are the logical agency of choice for Northern New South Wales.

Enquiry details


Sign up to our newsletter. We respect your privacy.


our new e-book ‘Selling Your Rural Property’