Merivale records largest jump in house prices

A four-bedroom home on Heaton St, Merivale, recently sold for $2.33m. Photo: Supplied via OneRoof
A four-bedroom home on Heaton St, Merivale, recently sold for $2.33m. Photo: Supplied via OneRoof
Merivale has recorded the biggest housing dollar change year-on-year in New Zealand.

The average property value jumped $252,000 to $1.594 million, on the back of strong sales activity in the second half of 2023.

The strongest lifts in the year to the end of March 2024 were in higher-value Canterbury suburbs, including Merivale and Fendalton.

Christchurch and Queenstown-Lakes were the best performing major metros, with prices up year-on-year in every suburb in both centres.

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan. Photo: Fiona Goodall
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan. Photo: Fiona Goodall
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said the quarterly figures highlighted the impact of the sudden rush to market by vendors across the country.

“The listings surge has given buyers a chance to pause and gives them more bargaining power than they had six months ago, when much less stock was on the market.”

Harcourts agent Cameron Bailey said some Christchurch suburbs had been underpriced since the earthquakes, with some recording year-on-year double-digit growth.

“I think Christchurch has been undervalued in the last few years. Auckland and other parts of New Zealand have enjoyed substantial capital gain during the 2010s, whereas the growth in Christchurch had been average,” Bailey told OneRoof.

He said Merivale was a standout suburb, largely due to its proximity to the CBD and being in zone for some the city’s best schools.

“The CBD is still not running at full steam but it’s getting closer and people are getting more excited about living close to it, which is why Merivale has moved ahead.”

Bailey said Christchurch had become a favourable destination for buyers from other parts of the country, reported OneRoof.

“We’re finding quite a few people moving to Christchurch from Auckland and Hamilton because it is so attractive. You can get the same for a lot less down here.”

And not every home for sale in Merivale is at the upper end of the city’s price bracket. Bailey expects a two-bedroom Peter Bevan-designed townhouse at 1 Rugby St is likely to sell in the $700,000 to $800,000 range. The 1968-built home had 50 groups through in the first two weeks, he said.

“There were investors, first-home buyers and people looking for a Christchurch pad.”

Credit: OneRoof
Credit: OneRoof
Bayleys agent Adam Heazlewood told OneRoof many of the buyers looking in Merivale and neighbouring Fendalton were impressed by the quality of the homes there.

He cited as an example of a recent sale on Heaton St, in Merivale.

The four-bedroom Heathcote Helmore-designed home sold for $2.23m in January – more than $300,000 above its 2021 RV. 

“These types of property always get a lot of focus.

"It was perfectly presented and sold to a family from wider Canterbury who were wanting to lessen their commute to school and work.”

He agreed with Bailey that outside buyers were driving the market in the city’s top suburbs.

“There are a lot of buyers from outside Canterbury buying and moving to Christchurch. A lot from Auckland, Wellington and Otago are looking in the upper end of the market.”