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Market Comment

By Liam O'Boyle

4th September 2010 has changed property in the Canterbury, more than just in the literal sense, and the effects will be on going.

 The immediate effect is over 3,000 homes are uninhabitable and need to be either repaired or rebuilt. There are potentially several thousand homes still habitable that also require major repairs or rebuilt.

 It has been announced that 98% of houses will be repaired or rebuilt on their existing sites. An estimated 50,000 houses require repairs valued between $10,000 and $100,000 – this work will be project managed by Fletcher Construction, plus an estimated 10,000 houses with damage over $100,000.

 In property transactions there is a whole new series of factors that now come to the fore, Structural Integrity Reports, Geo Tech Reports and availability of Insurance.

 Liquefaction used to be an obscure word tucked away in the fine print of a Local Council’s LIM (Land Information Memorandum), there is now an appreciation of this process during an Earthquake.

How the market place perceives some of the worst affected areas will be played out over this time but modern Geo Tech methods have proven to provide stable building platforms.

 Through the winter period the numbers of house sales were at historic low levels.

 For example, total number of house sales in Christchurch was 416 for August, and 491 when including Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts. The month of the Quake the sales volume dropped to 237 in Christchurch compared with 618 in September 2009, and including the wider area 280 compared with 734.

 There are encouraging signs of increased activity with good buyer inquiry and auction clearance rates increasing. One of the factors that will affect the market volume moving forward is the number of houses available for sale. Properties with EQC Claims still to be assessed and repaired are being sold with a Deed of Assignment of the EQC Claim. Ultimately supply and demand determine market direction.

 The re-construction will take months and years; this will provide an ongoing boost to the local economy over an extended period to reinstate infra – structure, commercial and residential property.

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