Buying real estate in New Zealand?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

The real estate market in Christchurch: 2024 forecast

Last updated on 

property investment Christchurch

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

As we step into the year 2024, the real estate landscape in Christchurch continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for investors, homeowners, and industry stakeholders.

In this article, we will give you a clear picture of what's happening in Christchurch's real estate scene for the year ahead.

If you need a full and more detailed report, with fresh data and actionable advice, please note that you can get our property pack for New Zealand. This pack will also give you unlimited access to our team of experts, allowing you to ask them anything related to the housing market in Christchurch specifically.

How's the New Zealand economy doing?

Current state

The real estate market in Christchurch, and New Zealand in general, intertwines closely with the country's economic and political stability.

New Zealand has traditionally been seen as a stable, well-governed country with a resilient economy. This stability is a cornerstone that has historically influenced the real estate market positively.

Regarding the real estate market, there's a distinction between the general market and the housing market. The general real estate market in New Zealand, including commercial properties, has experienced growth, particularly in major cities like Auckland and Wellington.

Christchurch, recovering and rebuilding from the 2011 earthquakes, has seen significant development, making it a unique case within the country.

The housing market specifically has seen various phases. Post-earthquake Christchurch underwent a period of rebuilding which saw a spike in housing demands. This demand, coupled with limited supply, led to a significant increase in housing prices.

This trend is not unique to Christchurch but mirrors a nationwide issue where housing affordability has become a critical social issue.

Government policies have played a crucial role. Historically, the New Zealand government has implemented various measures to control the housing market. These include loan-to-value ratio restrictions to curb risky lending and foreign buyer restrictions to reduce pressure on the housing market.

More recently, there have been efforts to increase housing supply, such as the KiwiBuild program, aiming to provide affordable homes to first-time buyers.

Notable events impacting the market include the aforementioned Christchurch earthquakes and the global financial crisis of 2008, which had a ripple effect on property markets worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic also had a significant impact, with a surge in housing demand and prices, partly due to lower interest rates.

In terms of regulatory changes, recent years have seen the New Zealand government taking steps to cool down the housing market. For example, changes to the Bright-line test, which taxes the gains on the sale of residential property, have been extended to discourage speculation.

Locally, Christchurch has become an attractive area for real estate investment. The city's rebuild has created new opportunities, and the lifestyle it offers, combined with relatively more affordable property prices compared to Auckland, makes it appealing.

The most sought-after properties are those in well-developed suburbs, properties offering lifestyle elements like waterfront or scenic views, and areas with good school zones.

For foreign investors, specific incentives include the potential for capital gain and the stable political and economic environment.

However, drawbacks include restrictions on foreign buyers purchasing residential property and the need to navigate a different legal and regulatory framework.

Comparatively, real estate prices in Christchurch have been more modest than in Auckland, which is the most expensive city in New Zealand. They are relatively high compared to some neighboring regions like Dunedin or the more rural areas of the South Island.

The legal framework in New Zealand for real estate investment is known for its transparency and stability. The country has robust property rights and a clear legal process for buying and selling property, making it a safe environment for investors.

However, it's crucial for any investor, especially those from overseas, to understand the local laws and regulations, which can be complex and subject to change.

Outlook and forecast

Christchurch's real estate market does have unique factors that set it apart from other regions in New Zealand.

One key factor is its rebuilding and redevelopment following the 2011 earthquakes. This ongoing process has transformed the city, creating both challenges and opportunities within the real estate sector.

The city has seen new infrastructure, commercial precincts, and residential developments, making it a dynamic environment for real estate investment.

Forecasting the city’s economy and stability, and its impact on the real estate market, requires considering several aspects; firstly, the rebuild has injected significant investment into the city, which is positive for economic growth.

However, this growth must be balanced against the cost of ongoing construction and the potential for over-supply in certain sectors, like commercial property.

The Christchurch economy's growth trajectory seems positive but may not be as rapid as in some other regions, like Auckland, which is a larger economic hub. The city's economy is diversifying post-earthquake, with growth in sectors like tourism, education, and IT, which is positive for long-term stability.

Regarding government policies, typical areas of policy change that could affect the real estate market include building and construction regulations, housing policies targeting affordability, and environmental regulations impacting property development.

Any changes in these areas could significantly influence the local real estate market by altering development costs, housing supply, or investment attractiveness.

Specific factors suggesting improvements in Christchurch include the completion of major infrastructure projects, like the convention center, which can boost tourism and business.

Additionally, the city's focus on becoming a green, sustainable city may attract a new demographic of eco-conscious residents and investors.

These factors can positively impact the real estate market by increasing demand for both commercial and residential properties in well-developed areas.

However, potential risks should not be overlooked. These include the possibility of another natural disaster, the challenge of balancing the speed of the rebuild with quality and sustainability, and the risk of economic downturns impacting the local economy.

If such risks materialize, the real estate market could face decreased demand, lower property values, and potentially higher insurance costs.

Investing in Christchurch’s real estate market, like any investment, requires a careful consideration of these unique factors, potential risks, and opportunities. The city's unique position as a rebuilt city offers unique opportunities but also comes with its own set of challenges.

An investor should be mindful of both the positive prospects and the potential risks when considering real estate investment in Christchurch.

Make a profitable investment in Christchurch

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

buying property in Christchurch

What about housing prices in Christchurch?

If you want to know the last prices, rents and yields in Christchurch, we have prepared everything you need in our property pack for New Zealand.

Current state

In Christchurch, the real estate prices have shown a distinct trend over the past few years, significantly influenced by the city's unique circumstances.

After the 2011 earthquakes, Christchurch entered a phase of reconstruction which had a considerable impact on property values. Initially, there was a spike in prices due to the increased demand for housing and limited supply caused by the destruction of many properties.

This trend of increasing prices has generally continued, albeit at a varied pace. During economic booms, like the post-earthquake rebuild phase, property prices in Christchurch saw substantial increases.

The investment in rebuilding the city, along with infrastructural improvements and the influx of workers, contributed to this rise.

In contrast, during economic downturns or crises, such as the global financial crisis of 2008 or the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a more complex reaction.

While there was a general trend of cooling in the property market during such periods, Christchurch's unique situation of rebuilding often counteracted these trends to some extent. Comparing the current real estate prices to those a decade ago, there's a noticeable increase.

A decade ago, the city was still in the early stages of its rebuild, and the market was reacting to the aftermath of the earthquakes. Now, much of the rebuild is complete or well underway, and this has generally led to an appreciation in property values.

Currently, the trend seems to be towards rising prices, though the rate of this increase can vary depending on various economic factors and housing policies.

In terms of property types, residential properties in well-developed suburbs, especially those that have seen significant redevelopment or are near new infrastructure, are experiencing the highest growth in prices.

Properties offering lifestyle elements, like modern townhouses or homes with eco-friendly features, are also seeing substantial growth. This trend is driven by a combination of factors, including the desire for quality living spaces and the appeal of newly developed areas with improved amenities.

The population dynamics of Christchurch have also changed in recent years. Post-earthquake, there was a period where the population decreased due to displacement.

However, as the city has been rebuilt, there's been a gradual increase in population. This change is partly due to people returning or new residents being attracted by employment opportunities and the city's lifestyle.

The growing population has, in turn, contributed to the increasing demand for housing, thereby influencing real estate prices.

These trends in Christchurch's real estate market are the result of a unique blend of factors, including the city's reconstruction, population changes, and broader economic conditions.

Understanding these dynamics is crucial for anyone looking to invest in or understand the property market in Christchurch.

Outlook and forecast

In Christchurch, several economic and demographic factors are influencing the current state of real estate prices.

One key factor is the ongoing reconstruction and development post-earthquake. This massive rebuilding effort has not only transformed the city's infrastructure but also its housing market.

Another factor is the city's evolving demographic profile. With a gradually increasing population, partly due to people returning and new residents attracted by job opportunities and lifestyle, there's a growing demand for housing.

One specific trend that could lead to an increase in housing prices in Christchurch in the near future is the completion of major infrastructure projects.

As these projects come to fruition, they are likely to enhance the city's appeal, leading to increased demand for housing in these newly developed or improved areas.

Additionally, the trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly living is gaining traction in Christchurch. Properties that incorporate green features or are located in areas with green initiatives may see a higher increase in value due to growing environmental consciousness among buyers.

It's important to note that these trends may not uniformly apply to other regions or cities in New Zealand. For instance, Auckland, being the largest city and economic hub, has different market dynamics, often driven by its own set of economic and demographic factors.

Smaller regions or rural areas, on the other hand, might not experience the same level of infrastructure development or demographic shifts as Christchurch.

On the contrary, there are also factors that could lead to a decrease in housing prices in Christchurch. One such factor is the potential for oversupply in the housing market.

As the city continues to rebuild and develop, there's a risk of creating more housing units than the market demands, which could lead to a drop in prices.

Another factor could be economic downturns, whether local or global, which typically lead to a cooling of the real estate market as people become more cautious about investing in property.

These downward trends might not be mirrored across all cities and regions in the country. Different areas have distinct market conditions.

For example, tourist-heavy regions might be more susceptible to global economic changes, while rural areas might not feel the impacts of local economic downturns in urban centers like Christchurch as acutely.

The real estate market in Christchurch, like any market, is subject to a complex interplay of local and broader factors. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for anyone interested in the property market, whether for investment, purchase, or simply to gauge the economic health of the region.

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

How's the demand for the real estate market in Christchurch?

Current state

In Christchurch, the current demand for residential real estate is quite robust.

This demand is driven by several factors including the city's ongoing recovery and growth post-earthquake, as well as a general trend of urbanization and population growth.

Typically, in a growing city like Christchurch, there tends to be more buyers than sellers, creating a seller's market. This can fluctuate based on various factors such as economic conditions and housing policies.

The supply of new housing in Christchurch has been a key focus, especially in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes. There has been a concerted effort to not only rebuild but also to expand residential areas to meet the growing demand.

Despite these efforts, there can be periods where the supply doesn't fully meet the demand, particularly for certain types of properties. This mismatch can lead to increased property prices and a competitive market for buyers.

Buyers in Christchurch are looking for a range of properties, but there's a noticeable interest in homes that offer modern amenities, sustainable living features, and good connectivity to the city center and essential services.

Properties in areas that have been redeveloped with improved infrastructure post-earthquake are particularly attractive.

Additionally, there's a demand for homes that offer lifestyle elements, like good indoor-outdoor flow, gardens, and proximity to parks and recreational areas.

The current interest rates for mortgages play a significant role in shaping the buying power and demand of consumers. Higher interest rates generally mean higher monthly repayments, which can reduce affordability for buyers and might cool the market somewhat.

Conversely, lower interest rates tend to make borrowing more attractive, potentially heating up the market. These rates are influenced by broader economic policies and can vary over time.

Recent changes in government policies or regulations can have a significant impact on the local real estate market. For instance, changes in tax laws, like adjustments to property taxes or capital gains tax, can influence investment decisions.

Subsidies for homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, can increase demand by making it more financially feasible for more people to buy homes.

Zoning laws also play a crucial role; changes in zoning can open up new areas for development or restrict the types of developments that can occur in certain areas, thereby affecting supply.

Each of these factors – the balance of supply and demand, the types of properties being sought, mortgage interest rates, and government policies – intertwines to shape the real estate market in Christchurch. It's a dynamic environment, and shifts in any of these areas can have ripple effects throughout the market.

For those looking to buy or sell property in Christchurch, staying informed about these factors is key to making well-informed decisions.

Outlook and forecast

Demographic shifts, such as aging populations and urbanization, are significantly influencing the demand in Christchurch's real estate market.

An aging population often leads to an increased demand for smaller, more manageable properties, like townhouses or apartments, often in community-focused areas with easy access to healthcare and social amenities.

On the other hand, urbanization, particularly among younger demographics, boosts the demand for properties in city centers or suburbs with good transport links and close proximity to workplaces, shopping, and entertainment.

The current trends in household formation in Christchurch, such as smaller family units and an increase in single-person households, are influencing the types of properties in demand. There's a growing preference for smaller, more affordable properties, including apartments and smaller homes.

This trend impacts the real estate market by shifting the focus from larger family homes to more compact, efficient living spaces, suitable for smaller household sizes.

In terms of real estate as an investment, there's a noticeable interest in properties that offer good rental yields and potential for capital appreciation. Investors often look for properties in well-located areas, possibly near universities or business hubs, where rental demand is high.

There's also a trend towards investing in properties that offer unique features, like sustainable or eco-friendly designs, as these are becoming increasingly popular among renters and buyers alike.

Cultural trends and shifts are also influencing the demand in the housing market. For example, there's an increasing awareness and preference for sustainable living, which favors properties with eco-friendly features like solar panels, energy-efficient designs, and green building materials.

Additionally, the work-from-home trend, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has increased the demand for properties with additional space for home offices.

Regarding the role of property as investments versus living purposes, there's a mix of both in Christchurch. While many people buy properties for their personal use, there is also a significant portion of the market where purchases are made for investment purposes.

This trend impacts the types of properties in demand, with investors often favoring properties that are easy to rent out or that promise good capital gains.

Foreign investment plays a notable role in Christchurch's real estate market. It tends to create more demand for certain types of properties, such as high-end, luxury homes, or properties in prime locations.

However, New Zealand has implemented restrictions on foreign buyers, which limits their ability to purchase residential properties.

This regulation is aimed at ensuring that the housing market is accessible to local residents and can impact the demand dynamics, particularly in the luxury property segment.

Lastly, niche markets in Christchurch, such as luxury properties and eco-friendly homes, are experiencing unique trends. The luxury market, for instance, often appeals to a smaller, more exclusive clientele and can be influenced by factors like foreign investment and overall economic health.

Eco-friendly homes are becoming increasingly popular due to a growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility. These niche markets often follow different dynamics compared to the broader market and can be influenced by specific trends in buyer preferences and global environmental concerns.

Don't lose money on your property in Christchurch

100% of people who have lost money in New Zealand have spent less than 1 hour researching the market. We have reviewed everything there is to know. Grab our guide now.

invest real estate in Christchurch

How's the rental market in Christchurch?

Current state

The demand for rental properties in Christchurch reflects the city's dynamic post-earthquake recovery and growth.

Given the city's ongoing development and increasing population, the demand for rental properties remains strong. This demand varies across different types of properties and locations within the city and its outskirts.

In terms of property types, there is a diverse range of demand. Apartments, particularly in the city center and nearby urban areas, are highly sought after, especially by young professionals and students. These properties offer the convenience of being close to workplaces, universities, and city amenities.

On the other hand, single-family homes are in demand in suburban areas, appealing to families and those looking for more space and a quieter environment.

Shared accommodations are common among students and young professionals, particularly near the University of Canterbury and other education centers, offering a more affordable living option.

Tenant preferences in rental properties vary significantly based on location. In urban areas, tenants often prioritize location and convenience, favoring properties close to public transport, shops, and city amenities. Size may be a compromise here, with smaller apartments being common.

In suburban areas, the preferences shift towards larger properties, with more emphasis on size, garden space, and family-friendly features. In rural areas, tenants often look for larger properties, valuing space and the natural environment more than proximity to urban amenities.

The demographic characteristics of tenants vary across different regions in Christchurch. In urban areas, you'll find a higher concentration of young professionals and students, valuing proximity to their places of work or study.

Suburban areas tend to attract families and middle-aged tenants, often looking for a balanced lifestyle with decent access to the city while enjoying the benefits of suburban living. Rural areas might appeal more to older tenants or those seeking a more relaxed and spacious living environment.

Income levels and economic factors play a significant role in determining the type of properties tenants rent. Higher-income tenants are more likely to afford larger, well-located properties with more amenities, often found in desirable urban or suburban areas.

Lower-income tenants may opt for more affordable options, like smaller apartments or shared accommodations, often further from the city center.

Certain regions in Christchurch have high concentrations of specific tenant groups. Areas close to universities and educational institutions have a high concentration of students. Young professionals often cluster in urban areas, drawn by employment opportunities and city amenities.

Suburban areas are more family-oriented, attracting tenants with children, while some regions may have a higher concentration of retirees, drawn by quieter settings and community-focused living.

Overall, the rental market in Christchurch is diverse, reflecting the city's varied demographics and the differing needs and preferences of tenants.

This diversity is a result of the city's unique character, shaped by its history, ongoing development, and the lifestyle preferences of its residents.

Outlook and forecast

The rental market in Christchurch is influenced by a combination of factors including the city's ongoing redevelopment, demographic changes, evolving lifestyles, and technological advancements.

One of the primary influences is the city's reconstruction and development post-earthquake. This redevelopment has led to the emergence of new urban areas and the revitalization of existing ones, making them attractive for renters.

Areas around new infrastructure projects, like the central business district, which has undergone significant redevelopment, are becoming new hotspots for rental properties.

Evolving lifestyles and work patterns, especially the rise of remote work, are significantly influencing rental preferences. There's an increasing demand for properties that offer additional space for home offices, high-speed internet connectivity, and quieter environments.

This shift might lead to a higher demand for rentals in suburban areas or city fringe areas that provide a balance between a calm environment and accessibility to the city center.

Significant demographic changes in Christchurch include a growing population, a trend towards smaller household sizes, and an increasing number of young professionals and students in the city.

These changes are reflected in the rental market through a higher demand for smaller, more affordable rental units like apartments and shared accommodations, particularly in areas close to universities and employment hubs.

Technological advancements and innovations are also impacting the rental market. The rise of online rental platforms and property management software has made it easier for landlords to manage properties and for tenants to find rentals.

This technology is enhancing the efficiency of the rental process, from searching for properties to managing tenancy agreements.

There's a growing trend towards sustainability and green living, which is increasingly influencing the rental market.

Properties with eco-friendly features like solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable building materials are becoming more desirable. This trend is particularly evident among younger renters who are more environmentally conscious.

The rental market forecast across various regions of New Zealand differs based on local factors. In larger cities like Auckland and Wellington, the demand for rental properties is often driven by employment opportunities and urban amenities, while in smaller towns or rural areas, the demand might be influenced more by lifestyle preferences and affordability.

The long-term outlook for the rental market in Christchurch, considering these factors, appears to be one of steady growth and transformation.

The city's ongoing development, demographic shifts, and changing lifestyle preferences are likely to continue shaping the rental market. We can expect a diverse demand for rental properties, from modern apartments in urban areas to family homes in the suburbs.

Finally, there are niche markets in Christchurch experiencing unique trends. The luxury rental market, catering to high-income renters, offers high-end amenities and prime locations.

Eco-friendly homes are also a growing niche, appealing to renters who prioritize sustainability. These trends indicate a rental market that is becoming increasingly segmented, with specific markets catering to different preferences and needs.

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

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.