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Christchurch Market Update

By Liam O'Boyle

The Christchurch market place for residential properties, both sales and rental one year post earthquake is clearly divided into 2 markets. 

The Central City, Eastern and Hill suburbs, with low enquiry making sales and letting difficult to obtain.

The contrast in the North and Western suburbs plus the outer districts is opposite, lack of properties available for sale and rent putting upward pressure on house prices and rents. 

It has been difficult to obtain a clear trend and population movements with an initial exodus of approximately 26,000 according to election role stats.

The red zone property owners are now receiving the Crown offer to purchase their properties that is now 6,000 people who will be making housing decisions over the next 9 months, building, buying, renting or moving outside Christchurch.

The sales market in the least affected areas are experiencing strong inquiry from first home buyers, people transferring to Christchurch and Red Zone buyers, creating multi offers and excellent auction clearances.

In the rental market available properties are below pre-earthquake levels again, with strong enquiry on homes in the least affected areas with rents firming.   The opposite is happening in the eastern suburbs with low enquiry and difficulty attracting tenants.

Insurance, or inability to obtain cover is a major issue.  Insurance companies are not taking on new business exposure in Christchurch; the only cover obtainable is through assignment of a policy or renewal.  This is okay for existing properties where the income owner has a good credit rating, but for new builds and tenants seeking contents insurance the current situation makes it extremely difficult to obtain cover. 

What has become very apparent is the Christchurch rebuild will take many years but the high amount of resources input from insurance, local bodies, private sector and Government will see a sustained strong Canterbury economy.

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