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Market Update

By Liam O'Boyle

Market Comment

The first part of 2012 has seen good demand for residential property in the greater Christchurch region continue from the strong finish of 2011.

Sales volumes have averaged 500 homes in Christchurch City over the first 5 months.  Part of this increase has been made up from increasing sales in the least affected areas of the Eastern suburbs. 

Buyers on the current market are a mix of people transferring into Christchurch, red zoned property owners and first home buyers.  Insurance coverage is continuing to be an issue but the transfer of the seller’s house cover to the buyer is how most existing property sales are effected. 

The Christchurch rebuild has yet to gain real momentum with insurance coverage still being the major obstacle.  Some of the larger building companies in the residential sector are obtaining builders risk cover with an ongoing coverage after completion. 

Around the outer areas of Christchurch the development of residential sections is a hive of activity.  The impact on existing homes both in terms of price and sales once volume of sections and land and home packages reach the market will be an interesting trend to observe. 

With the projections on the number of tradespeople required in Christchurch coupled with the requirements to service the population, growth will continue to be the driver for housing demand.  Availability of rental properties and rent levels alongside continuing low interest rates is encouraging first home buyers into the market.

Rental Market

The lag in residential construction will maintain rental levels for housing.  We have seen the continuing ebb and flow in supply and demand for rental properties from a tight situation in March to currently an additional 200 properties listed as available. 

The repairs to the social housing stock with only minor damage will also take pressure off this section of the market. 

People relocating into Christchurch are seeking reasonable quality accommodation and good heating.  Some of the weekly rents quoted in the media during the March shortage were not obtained or are now not sustainable.  Good homes that are well presented and heated will attract strong enquiry.

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