Three Northern Territory cattle stations have been put on the market by their Filipino owner, who is hoping for more than $50 million for the 1.1 million hectares of land.
In 2015 Filipino property developer and banker Romeo Roxas approached the owners of Murray Downs and Epenarra Stations, south-east of Tennant Creek, buying the properties off-market for more than $20m.
Later, Mr Roxas added Pine Hill Station, 100 kilometres north of Alice Springs, to his aggregation of properties known as Australian Green Properties, which also holds land in western New South Wales.
Now, with increasing business commitments in the Philippines and a bout of poor health, the 79-year-old is putting his Central Australian cattle stations on the market.
The aggregation of stations are for sale as a whole or individually, with about 23,000 head of Droughtmaster and Santa Gertudis cattle run across the three properties.
Good price expected for properties
Agent David Russell said the northern property market had softened recently, but with improvements to the properties and their herds he expected the aggregation to attract a good price.
“Looking at the quality of the country, each property is totally different,” he said.
“Epenarra has the very good Frew River system that flows through there and Murray Downs is on the other side [of the river system].
Mr Russell said in the three years since the properties were bought, the property market had lifted alongside beef prices.
“They weren’t on the market [in 2015], so the sale was under the radar a bit, and by the time we had settled, the market had lifted considerably,” he said.
“My client was fortunate enough to have bought some good cattle with those stations, so he had a good cash flow return from the start.
“We have done a lot of work on Epenarra with fencing and waters, and my client wants to keep continuing to lift that.”
Expressions of interest on Murray Downs, Epenarra and Pine Hill close on November 16.
Unimproved capital value of NT pastoral leases up
This week the NT valuer general released its three-yearly assessment of the unimproved capital value of the NT pastoral estate, with property values up 35 per cent since the last valuation in 2015.
NT Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) chief executive Ashley Manicaros said the strong growth in property values was a reflection of the strength of current beef prices.
“The cattle industry has attracted a lot of attention from an investment point of view because it has been so successful in the last few years, particularly around the price for our cattle,” he said.
“What we are seeing though, especially in more recent times, is that those [property prices] figures have probably flattened a little bit, and the gains that have been identified in the unimproved capital value may not be reflective of what is actually happening right now.”
The latest unimproved capital value assessments will not affect pastoral rent paid next financial year because of a change to the NT Pastoral Act.
From July 1, 2019 pastoral rents will be calculated by the estimated carrying capacity of a property, a move the NTCA hopes will simplify pastoral rent calculations and lessen large increases in rent.