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Property Market Update

By Liam O'Boyle

Property Market Comment

 The Christchurch housing market sales volumes continue to recover to pre-earthquake numbers.

 August 2011 recorded 410 residential sales compared with 310 in July 2011.

 The activity in the market place is primarily for first home buyers and property owners in the Red Zone.

 A shortage of family homes in the least affected areas is creating strong competition for those available properties in these locations.

 The difficulty in obtaining insurance for new housing is slowing up this option for buyers, with only 1 or 2 of the large home builders being able to arrange cover.

 Indications are that insurance should free up the longer we are free of significant aftershocks.

 Those who may be considering selling certainly now is a good opportunity, as house building increases buyers will have greater choices.

Rental Market

Demand for quality rental properties in the least affected areas is strong with a very limited selection available.   Rents are firming in these areas, which is the Northern and Western suburbs, plus Selwyn and Waimakairi Districts.

It is pleasing to note good demand for our student accommodation for the 2012 year in light of the substantially lower projected roll numbers.  As always the better properties are leased first.

The residential property market demand has ebbed and flowed through the past 12 months, with a period in mid May 2011 where vacancies were at levels above pre-quake.

We now note that current availability of property is at a historical low level using “Trade Me Rentals” listings as a barometer.

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