In a good news story for agriculture, the purchasers of iconic Chatsworth House, near Mortlake, are a local farming family who plan to make their home at their recently acquired property.
Tom and Sarah Whinney purchased the property on a on a walk-in-walk-out basis for upwards of $25 million.
Agents for the sale, CBRE Agribusiness director, Shane McIntyre, said the Whinney family would continue the rural property's focus on prime lamb production,.
He said the family would reside at Chatsworth House, the first landowners to do so in many decades.
Mr McIntyre said the property had received a widespread inquiry with demand balanced between Melbourne and Sydney-based families as well as existing Victorian and interstate primary producers and offshore investors.
"It is a good news story and on the back of many sales in the Western District shows confidence generally," he said.
The vendors purchased Chatsworth House in 2001 and added various neighbouring holdings for a combined total of 2400 hectares, significantly enhancing its productivity and introducing cropping into the enterprise.
The broad-scale breeding and cropping enterprise, ideally suited to lamb and wool production, currently runs 15,000 composite ewes for fat lamb production, plus fattening 300 steers annually.
Mr McIntyre said the sales of a range of properties across Victoria and into the Riverina of NSW were a sign of the quality of the properties and a good level of demand.
Among the sales was Hartwood Station at Conargo that was purchased by the Martin family of Noorong in Barham, NSW., with the sale price "within the market-quoted range of $12-13 million, Mr McIntyre said.
The 6773ha station had undergone a significant transformation including large scale irrigation infrastructure.
Mr McIntyre said the sales along with Blackwood at Penshurst and Mawallok at Beaufort and Mt Hamilton at Nerrin Nerrin completed a year of activity in the elite class of rural property.
"Over $110 million in value has transacted with these sales alone - which is a platform of confidence likely to stay for the medium to long term," he said.
In March the Financial Review reported that Mount Hamilton had been sold for $10 million.
The property at was owned by Rolly and Judy Paterson, the report said.
Mr McIntyre said all the properties offered and sold since last spring attracted wide interest.
"It's quite rare to have this amount of elite property come onto the market at one particular time," he said.
"Yet they have all sold well and at the value range that was expected.
"For the most part they have sold to local or national buyers."
Mr McIntyre there were a number of properties that would enter the market through May and June.
He said there would be a range of large-scale properties and life-style blocks.
Favorable seasonal conditions and low interest rates have seen vendors place their properties on the market and buyers were seeking to invest in reliable, consistently performing rural properties.
"Listings would be slightly lower but the quality will still be there," he said.
Mr McIntyre said the coronavirus restrictions relating to the COVID-19 outbreak were being met in the conduct of property inspections.
"Everyone is aware of the procedures and protocols in relation to the virus, so inspections can be conducted with those in mind," he said.
"That might mean multiple vehicles and a convoy type approach with stops to point out attributes of a property.
"A lot of our inspections are done by appointment and we generally have a strong dialogue with the intending prospects prior to the inspections."