After several years of post-quake fluctuations in population and property availability, the Christchurch residential property market finally seems to be finding its new ‘normal’ level again.
While the tumult is not totally over – there’s still a lot of rebuild ahead of us – most of Christchurch’s regular population has settled back into long-term homes.
So, what does that mean? Here are our predictions:
Prices will stabilise.
We have seen property prices stabilise this year, largely due to supply more evenly matching demand. As reported, the drop in house price inflation from double figures two years ago comes after considerable residential construction and repairs, with councils approving more than 20,000 new homes since the earthquakes.
Price stability will create long-term growth in the region.
Price stability carries obvious benefits for buyers, but it’s also good for the market as a whole.
Reassurance around true, rather than inflated, house prices will give Cantabrians more confidence when planning for the future – we believe this will ensure Christchurch stays on a sustainable growth path.
Building new? You’ll have more options.
With 20,000 new homes built since the earthquakes, primarily in new subdivisions, the housing deficit is rapidly being eliminated.
As this supply meets demand we’re also seeing more flexibility for buyers in what they can do with a new build site.
Previously as subdivisions released new stages, they were all being purchased very quickly by building companies. Now, local developers are telling us they have unsold sections in their most recent stage releases.
This is a positive for buyers as they will have more sections to choose from, and more time to select their preferred section and can take their time on choosing the builder they want to work with. We believe this is healthy for the proper development of subdivisions as it ensures a wider range of builders and housing styles.
Rental demand still strong.
Despite doubts about the future of Christchurch’s ‘city centre’, business is slowly but surely making its way back in.
The desire to be close to town is certainly reflected in the residential rental market, with strong rental demand closer in to the Christchurch city centre and surrounding suburbs. Anything under $500 per week has very strong interest, which is a good indicator for those looking to purchase an investment property.
"That threat of a doughnut city with a wasteland in the middle has gone. It's all starting to come together,” says Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend. There’s further growth anticipated next year, with 8,000 workers headed to Christchurch to work on inner-city developments.
While things are settling, an influx of workers like that outlined above will once again have an impact on the market, for rental properties in particular, so it will be interesting to see where supply and demand is sitting in a year’s time. Watch this space.
Thinking of buying or selling in Christchurch? Iron Bridge has been part of the Christchurch property market for more than 10 years and we have a wealth of experience in property management, and helping people buy and sell residential and investment properties. We’re always happy to share our knowledge, so give us a call.
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