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Buying a property in Christchurch: a complete guide

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property investment Christchurch

Yes, the analysis of Christchurch's property market is included in our pack

Considering buying real estate in Christchurch? You're not alone!

Many people are enchanted by Christchurch's natural surroundings and dream of owning a cozy cottage or a modern apartment in this city.

Is it a wise investment, though? Are property prices increasing in Christchurch? What is the price per sqm? Is it wiser to buy property in the CBD or Riccarton? What are the taxes? Which place will give me the best yields?

We have the answers.

The BambooRoutes team has thoroughly explored this market. Actually, we've organized all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In this article, get ready to receive valuable insights from us.

How's the real estate market in Christchurch?

Is the property market doing well or poorly? Data will provide us with answers.

Property types

In Christchurch, you can find various types of properties for sale, including houses, apartments, townhouses, and land.

Houses offer spacious living with yards, while apartments are more compact and often located in multi-story buildings. Townhouses provide a balance between the two, offering shared walls and a mix of indoor and outdoor space.

Land listings offer empty plots where you can build your own property.

Each type has its unique features and price points, giving buyers a range of options to choose from based on their preferences and needs.

Buy or rent?

(If you want to live there yourself and not rent it to others)

If Christchurch, the scenic city in New Zealand, has captured your interest as a place to settle, you might be considering whether it's better to buy or rent a property.

Obviously, it's better to buy if you are looking for an investment and want to benefit from capital appreciation over the long term.

Want to make a good decision? Check out the property price-to-rent ratio. This metric shows the relationship between rental income and the cost of buying the property.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Christchurch is around 17.24, which is around the world average.

In simple terms, it would typically require 17 years of rental payments, on average, to buy a property in Christchurch.

Property prices in Christchurch

On average, according to the last data from Quotable Value, purchasing a property in Christchurch will cost you around $3,750 per square meter.

Naturally, property prices are quite spread out. A city-center apartment in Christchurch might have a different price per square meter than a suburban house. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in Christchurch and in New Zealand.

To put things in perspective, it is 5.1 times less than the property prices in the center of New York.

Also, housing prices in Christchurch are 57% cheaper than in Auckland.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Christchurch are probably Merivale, Fendalton, and Riccarton, while the cheapest areas are likely to be Aranui, Shirley, and Linwood.

Christchurch Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that New Zealand is, today, an exceptionally stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 17.5.

Don't overlook this while weighing the pros and cons of buying a property in Christchurch.

Also, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), New Zealand's economy is expected to soar by 8% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.6%.

If you intend to invest in real estate in Christchurch it's a good thing because a positive growth rate (usually) leads to higher incomes for citizens, enabling them to invest in real estate, which boosts demand and prices for properties.

Also, in New Zealand, the average GDP per capita has changed by 4.6% over the last 5 years. Though not substantial, there is still a positive trend of growth.

These are cues signaling that property prices in Christchurch might go up in 2024 and during the coming years.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in New Zealand right now.

Buying property in Christchurch

Buying real estate in Christchurch can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Christchurch and in New Zealand.

Buying process

Within our pack, we've covered the entire buying process extensively. This includes a detailed breakdown of prices and yields based on the area, advice on negotiating prices, and information about obtaining a mortgage.

Now, we're providing you with a simplified version.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Christchurch:

  1. Determine budget and loan options, considering local regulations and mortgage lenders.
  2. Engage a licensed real estate agent familiar with Christchurch's property market.
  3. Search for properties in preferred Christchurch neighborhoods.
  4. Attend open homes and inspections, noting any earthquake damage or potential concerns.
  5. Make an offer through your agent, using the standard Sale and Purchase Agreement form.
  6. Negotiate and agree on the price with the seller, adhering to New Zealand property laws.
  7. Hire a lawyer specializing in property conveyancing in Christchurch.
  8. Conduct property inspections, including obtaining a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) report.
  9. Sign the Sale and Purchase Agreement, subject to satisfactory due diligence.
  10. Pay the deposit (usually 10%) into the agent's trust account.
  11. Finalize the financing and obtain a home loan from a New Zealand bank.
  12. Settle the property transaction on the settlement date, paying the remaining balance, and take possession of the property, ensuring compliance with Christchurch's local regulations.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in New Zealand.

Make a profitable investment in Christchurch

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Christchurch

Where to find a property

If you're looking for properties in Christchurch, check out these websites:

  • - A New Zealand real estate website that offers properties for sale or rent, along with news and valuation services.
  • OneRoof - A property search platform in New Zealand providing listings for sale and rent, property estimates, news, and tools for buyers and sellers.
  • Harcourts - A New Zealand real estate company offering services for residential and commercial property transactions, along with news and resources.
  • Rightmove - A property website specializing in helping people buy, rent, and invest in real estate in New Zealand.
  • Trademe - A leading online marketplace in New Zealand for buying, renting, and selling properties, along with other services.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in New Zealand.

What you can get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Christchurch is $3,750. A 1-bedroom property with an area of 60 square meters would cost approximately $225,000, while a 2-bedroom property with an area of 85 square meters would cost around $319,000.

Obviously, property prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.

Prices tend to be higher in the top areas of Christchurch. A house in Merivale could cost you about $710,000, while a property in Fendalton might be priced at $400,000.

Some locations are less expensive. You may find a house in Riccarton for $290,000, or a house in Linwood priced only at $240,000.

Find a more detailed price list in our full pack for buying property in New Zealand.

Common mistakes

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in Christchurch, New Zealand:

  • Liquefaction risk: Check for properties built on sandy or silty soils prone to liquefaction during earthquakes.
  • TC3 zoning: Properties in Technical Category 3 might face insurance challenges due to higher earthquake vulnerability.
  • Port Hills hazards: Assess risks like rockfall, landslides, or bushfire in properties near the Port Hills.
  • Heritage building restrictions: Be aware of regulations when buying historic buildings, as they may require costly renovations.
  • Coastal erosion: Properties near the coastline might suffer erosion risks, impacting their long-term stability and value.
  • Christchurch's "Red Zone": Avoid buying in this zone, which was severely affected by the 2011 earthquake and may face future restrictions.
  • Avon River flooding: Check if the property lies in a flood-prone area near the Avon River, leading to potential damage and insurance challenges.
  • EQC claims history: Research the property's history of earthquake claims and repairs, as it could affect future insurance coverage.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate New Zealand

Everything you need to know is included in our New Zealand Property Pack

Living in Christchurch

Christchurch is a vibrant city with a great quality of life, making it an ideal place to buy property.

Cost of living

Christchurch is generally considered to have an affordable cost of living. Prices for goods and services such as food, housing, and transportation are generally lower than in other major cities in New Zealand.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Christchurch, New Zealand:

  • A flat white coffee at a local café: $3-$5.
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the trendy Addington neighborhood: $1,400-$2,200 per month.
  • Monthly Metrocard for public transportation: $80-$120.
  • A bottle of L&P (Lemon & Paeroa), a popular New Zealand soft drink: $2-$3.
  • Utilities (electricity, heating, cooling) for an 85m² apartment in Christchurch: $130-$200.
  • A meat pie, a Kiwi snack, at a bakery: $4-$6.
  • Entrance fee to Canterbury Museum, showcasing local history and culture: $10-$15.
  • Health insurance coverage for a family of four: $300-$500 per month.


We want to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a table that lists the different neighborhoods in Christchurch. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Riccarton is a vibrant suburb with a bustling shopping precinct and a mix of students, families, and professionals.

Great shopping and dining options, close to the University of Canterbury.

Can get busy, traffic congestion during peak hours.


Addington is an up-and-coming neighborhood with a growing arts and cultural scene and easy access to the city center.

Artistic atmosphere, proximity to Hagley Park and AMI Stadium.

Some areas still under development, limited public transportation.


Mairehau is a family-friendly area with parks, schools, and local shops, providing a peaceful suburban lifestyle.

Quiet and safe, community-oriented, good schools.

Less variety in entertainment options, not as close to the city center.


Merivale is an upscale neighborhood known for its elegant homes, boutique shopping, and fine dining experiences.

Stylish and affluent, great dining and shopping choices.

Higher cost of living, limited affordable housing.


Sydenham is an eclectic suburb with a mix of industrial spaces, artsy shops, and trendy cafes.

Creative atmosphere, unique shops, and eateries.

Can be noisy due to industrial areas, some parts still undergoing revitalization.


Redwood offers a peaceful residential setting with a range of amenities and green spaces, attracting families and retirees.

Tranquil surroundings, good schools, proximity to forests and parks.

Not as much nightlife, limited public transport options.


Avonhead is a leafy suburb known for its large family homes and close proximity to the University of Canterbury and the airport.

Quiet and green, convenient for students and travelers.

Less diverse entertainment, limited shopping options.


Hornby is a busy commercial area with a range of shops, industries, and recreational facilities.

Plenty of shopping and dining choices, good transport links.

Can be congested, industrial areas may impact air quality.

Life in Christchurch

Christchurch is the second-largest city in New Zealand, and its economy is largely based on the service sector. In recent years, the city has seen a resurgence in tourism and investment, as well as growth in the technology and construction industries.

What expats usually like the most in Christchurch is its vibrant cultural scene, with a variety of museums, galleries and events to explore, as well as its stunning natural beauty, with plenty of parks and gardens to explore.

Unfortunately, we can't say there is no crime in Christchurch (the crime rate index is around 44, which is not so favorable. Examples of crimes in Christchurch include burglary, theft, drug possession, and assault, which are typically committed by members of the local population and do not generally affect expats.

Access to healthcare in Christchurch is generally good, with a wide range of public and private health services available.

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Renting out in Christchurch

This section is for you if you're interested in purchasing property not for personal residence, but rather for the purpose of renting it out to generate rental income.


Tenant Profiles in Christchurch

According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in New Zealand is 65%, which is average.

It means that, if you decide to buy and rent out in Christchurch, there will be a good number of people who can become your potential tenants.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, students, and families who are looking to live in the city center and its surrounding suburbs. Additionally, there is a growing market of short-term tenants looking for furnished accommodation for business trips, short-term work assignments, and leisure travelers.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in Christchurch Central

Professionals, students

Central location, access to amenities

$1,200 - $2,500

House in Merivale

Families, young professionals

Upscale neighborhood, proximity to shops

$2,000 - $3,500

Apartment in Riccarton

Students, working individuals

Near university, shopping centers

$1,000 - $2,000

Townhouse in Halswell

Families, professionals

Suburban living, family-friendly

$1,800 - $3,000

Apartment in Sumner

Beach lovers, retirees

Seaside lifestyle, scenic views

$1,500 - $2,500

House in Cashmere

Families, nature enthusiasts

Green surroundings, parks

$2,500 - $4,000

Apartment in Ilam

Students, professionals

Near University of Canterbury, quiet area

$1,200 - $2,000

Rental yields

Nowadays, the rental yields you get in Christchurch are between 5% and 7%. There are some opportunities. So you know, a "good" rental yield is above 7%.

Christchurch properties in areas with good transport links, such as the city centre and the outer suburbs, tend to offer the best rental yields due to the high demand for rental accommodation in the area. Properties close to local amenities, such as shopping centres, parks and schools, are also popular and tend to offer higher yields.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Christchurch are taxed at 14%, which is not much.


You could also decide to rent short-term to students, visiting professionals, and tourists exploring Christchurch's attractions. Business travelers attending conferences and other events in the city could also be potential tenants for short-term rental in Christchurch.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the city centre, as well as the suburbs of Papanui, Riccarton, and Merivale. These areas offer a variety of rental opportunities and are close to amenities, making them popular with short-term tenants.

Currently, there are approximately 2,260 active Airbnb listings in Christchurch, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $116.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Christchurch can make around $2000 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 80%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Christchurch then?

In a nutshell, buying a property in Christchurch can be a fantastic decision for those looking to settle down, enjoy a vibrant city with a reasonable cost of living, and potentially benefit from long-term property value growth. The city's property market offers a variety of options to suit different budgets, and the property price-to-rent ratio is quite favorable for homeownership.

Moreover, New Zealand's stable economy and projected growth suggest that property prices in Christchurch could continue to rise in the coming years, making it an appealing choice for long-term investors.

On the flip side, if you're planning a short stay or lack in-depth knowledge of the local market, buying property in Christchurch might not be the best idea. Renting can be more cost-effective for short-term residents, as property transactions involve additional costs that may not be recouped quickly.

Additionally, it's crucial to be aware of potential risks, such as earthquake-prone areas, and to conduct thorough research, especially if you're a foreign buyer unfamiliar with New Zealand's property regulations.

Lastly, high-cost neighborhoods like Merivale may not be suitable for those on a tight budget. In conclusion, while Christchurch offers exciting opportunities for property investment, it's essential to consider your specific circumstances and goals before taking the plunge.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Christchurch

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in New Zealand. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Christchurch

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.