House price pressure in NZ’s cheapest city for real estate - Christchurch

This three-bedroom house in Hoon Hay recently sold for $538,000. Photo: Supplied
This three-bedroom house in Hoon Hay recently sold for $538,000. Photo: Supplied
Affordable Christchurch is seeing more million-dollar-plus residential sales but agents say you can still buy a good house for around half that amount.

The city’s median property value has jumped 20% in the last 12 months to hit $541,000, fuelled by low interest rates, but agents say demand for property in the city is putting upwards pressure on prices.

Harcourts agent Alison Aitken says Christchurch’s housing market has been playing catch-up with the rest of country.

“House prices are definitely moving up. A lot of this is being driven by buyers coming into Christchurch – Wellington buyers, Auckland buyers, and people coming back from overseas.”

Aitken recently sold a three-bedroom home with a single garage on a cross lease section in Hoon Hay, in the city’s south, for $530,000 – more than $100,000 above its 2019 RV.

“You can definitely buy something in the fives to sixes. You don’t have to buy a unit, you can still buy a house on a bit of land, absolutely,” she says.

A house for that price might need a little work and, like everywhere, Christchurch gets more affordable the further out you go. Another recent sale in Halswell, which is about 9km southwest of the centre, sold for $538,000 under the hammer - again almost $100,000 above RV – after the auction was brought forward.

A house in Halswell fetched $538,000 under the hammer. Photo: Supplied
A house in Halswell fetched $538,000 under the hammer. Photo: Supplied
Christchurch isn’t lacking in big sales either, Aitken says. In the pricey suburb of Fendalton a property on large section sold for $6.7m a few weeks ago and a house in Clearwater at the golf resort went for $6.5m.

There are also quite a few sales in the $4m-plus range: “It’s not an uncommon number now, whereas it used to be ‘wow.’”

Suburbs like Fendalton are popular for the schools but there are other popular areas, too. “Strowan, Cashmere is getting really popular, Summerfield. There’s growth in most of the areas, it’s not just one area,” she says.

A four-bedroom villa in St Albans sold for $670,000. Photo: Supplied
A four-bedroom villa in St Albans sold for $670,000. Photo: Supplied
Justin Haley, residential and projects divisional manager for Bayleys, says stock in the $550,000 to $600,000 price bracket is in demand.

“It’s that clash of first home buyers who are approved up to that $550,000 range and you’ve got investors and also the baby boomers looking to re-engage in that sort of stock.”

A standalone three bedroom, one bathroom weatherboard home with a small fenced backyard on Donegal Street, in Belfast, in the city’s north, sold for $510,000 – almost $200,000 above RV.

“The closer into town, obviously, the more you’re paying but there’s still affordability with value in Christchurch,” says Haley.

Closer to the central city, in St Albans, a four-bedroom character villa with sizable garden on Winton Street, which sold for $670,000 – again almost $200,000 above RV.

And while price may not be the challenge it is in Auckland, listings in Christchurch are low, meaning more competition for fewer homes.

“I think we’re in line with the rest of the country and inventory levels are at the lowest they’ve ever been since records began,” Haley says.

- Oneroof.co.nz

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