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What the sale of Saltbush Ag tells us about South Australian sales to come

By Carly Marshall

Ray White Rural South Australia recently facilitated the successful sale of Saltbush Ag, a highly regarded farming aggregation in the Mid North region. The Handbury family, well-known in the agricultural industry, made the decision to divest their farming assets in this area to focus on their enterprise in South Australia’s South East. Through our dedicated team, the Handburys sold the 2852-hectare property, located in the Booborowie and Leighton regions, to five local farming families, exemplifying our commitment to supporting the growth and legacy of family operations.

Not to our surprise, the sale garnered significant interest from across the country, with over 100 enquiries received during the comprehensive marketing campaign. We conducted approximately 20 inspections and received 19 written expressions of interest from potential buyers. The exceptional outcome, surpassing $33 million, was also no surprise given the region’s reputation for its suitability and flexibility in various agricultural enterprises, including cereals, oilseeds, legumes, hay production, prime lamb, and wool production. A well-managed and large-scale farming operation such as this was a great opportunity for the investors, and we believe the sale reflects the confidence and reliability of the local market.

Paddy Handbury and family, prominent pastoralists and graziers, achieved this substantial sale by splitting the aggregation into individual parcels – a trend that seems to be setting in across South Australia. The Saltbush Ag Aggregation eventually sold in seven parcels to five local farming businesses, with two farming families each purchasing two of the properties. The sale is a perfect demonstration of the transaction activity currently occurring in the rural property market which is driven by succession planning, retirement, and the expansion of existing farming enterprises.

The Handbury family expressed their complete satisfaction with the services provided by Ray White Rural SA. 

“Geoff Schell, Dan Schell, Lucy Hill, Carly Marshall, and the team demonstrated professionalism, ethicality, and empathy throughout the entire process, and they always put our family first,” said Mr Handbury.

“Their thoroughness and professional approach resulted in a very well-executed sale, marked by outstanding marketing materials, including an excellent video, strategically released to maximize impact.

Their courteous way of dealing with our family in what can be a very testing time was wonderful – it felt like we were a team striving together for the best result,” said Mr Handbury.

“We were never left in the dark or wanting and their calming support throughout the process was most appreciated,” he added. 

As we strive to continue supporting farming families by leveraging our expertise and industry knowledge to facilitate successful property sales, we believe that thoughtful feedback such as this from the Handbury’s serves as the true marker of our success. We are confident that the sale of Saltbush Ag exemplifies our commitment to delivering exceptional outcomes for both sellers and buyers within the current rural property market. 

Over the last six months, we have facilitated a number of other successful sales for local farming families.

“Wilkschs,’ in the Robertstown area, was sold on the 9th of March after four generations of farming. The Wilksch’s made a strategic family decision to purchase a property in the South East of South Australia, and wielded the expertise of our team to assist with the incumbent transaction. After garnering a sale price of $2,525,000 for the mixed farming property, the Wilkschs expressed their gratitude to our team. 

We cannot thank the team at Ray White Rural SA enough for all their hard work over the last few months selling our property. Their commitment, dedication and communication was awesome and no question was ever too hard!” Said Sandy and Steven Wilksch. 

“They made us feel really important and were there for us the whole way through.”

Glen and Jayne Tilley of ‘Hillcott Grove’ at Bethel also communicated their satisfaction with the services we provided during the sale of their property. The Tilley family sold ‘Hillcott Grove’ at auction for $2.5million.

“Geoff and Daniel provided excellent service and advice to ensure that our property reached a very good sale price,” said Glen and Jayne. 

“They have a skilled and friendly team that makes sure that all the details are handled efficiently and with total accuracy in what can be a stressful time. Geoff and Daniel put you at ease and are very thorough in all aspects of the sale process. They get results.”

‘Coulters’ in Hamley Bridge was sold at auction on May 4 2023 for $2.9million. The Bubner family were also very grateful to have our team on their side during the process. 

“From the very first phone call to the end of a very successful auction the team at Ray White Rural South Australia were extremely professional, empathetic and understanding.”

“I would not hesitate to recommend or use them again,” said Susan Bubner. 

As local farmers ourselves, we deeply appreciate the valuable feedback from our cherished clients. We believe that our strong market share is a testament to the lasting relationships we’ve built and the exceptional customer service we offer.

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