A blue gum plantation up for grabs in regional Victoria is set to prove you can’t just sell the forest for the trees.
The 365ha timber growing property on Raglan-Elmhurst Rd, Glenlogie is expected to top $720,000 — but with hundreds of hectares of trees within five years of harvesting, and the infrastructure to do so already in place, the timber on the property could be worth even more.
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Ray White’s Josh Todd is handling the unusual sale and said with recent trade deals between Australian woodchipping companies and China working out to about $250 a bone dry metric tonne, the value was literally growing for the forest in the state’s north west.
“The timing of the maturity of this plantation should coincide with a period of relative scarcity of wood chips as some growers have exited the market with the former plantation land now being reverted to farmland,” Mr Todd said.
But it might not be the forest itself that wins over a buyer.
The Japanese owners — VIZ Australia Pty Ltd — are turning over a new leaf even though the trees on site are now about seven years old and closing in on their second harvest.
Despite its current international connection, an Australian buyer is most likely to branch out for the unusual investment opportunity. And while a woodchipper was one possibility, land bankers, developers or farmers were among the other candidates, Mr Todd said.
“(And) if you were a developer or a farmer wanting to return the land to it original productivity, the income from the timber could be used to offset developments costs,” he said.
But it might take some serious green to chop your way clear of the competition, with expectations offers will top $800 an acre (4000sq m), adding up to more than $720,000.
“It’s hard to say (what the price will be) as there are very few sales of standing blue gum timber — most are sold post harvest,” Mr Todd said.
As an added bonus for prospective buyers, a harvested allotment of this size could potentially be worth even more.
Mr Todd pointed to recent sales that had equated to $1150 per acre for harvested sites, with more interest in such sites from those looking for farm land that could be used immediately.
Nine dams, natural water courses and impressive rural views could also suit developers looking to carve it up for smaller, but still sizeable allotments.
“The existing land comprises 11 freehold titles and would permit the boundaries to be realigned and the sold of as 100 acre farmlets,” Mr Todd said.