Apartments lead the way for Christchurch

Thursday 9 March 2017

Christchurch is set to get its first large format, luxury apartment development but is the city’s flat lining property market ready for it?

By Miriam Bell

Plans for an exclusive, high end apartment development in Christchurch Central, called Upper House Apartments, are well underway with the resource consent lodged this week.

Upper House Apartments developer, Chris Stokes, said there is a demand for generously-sized properties with five-star home comforts plus the security, privacy and low maintenance of apartment living.

“Multi-unit apartment blocks are everywhere but we want people to enjoy the benefits of an apartment without living in a shoebox.

“Upper House will be the only large-format apartments on the market that are opulent, stylish and functional.”

But news of the project comes at a time when the Garden City’s residential building boom is over and the housing market is quiet.

The most recent REINZ data on Christchurch, which is from January, had sales volumes in the city down by 16% year-on-year and the median price down by 3% year-on-year to $442,500.

Reports of an oversupply of housing in parts of the city have been circulating and Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy said sales consultants are starting to report an increase in listings.

At the same time, QV’s February data showed that Christchurch property values decreased by 0.5% over the prior three months, leaving the average value at $498,710.

Values in the city were up 2.8% year on year and QV’s Christchurch valuer, Daryl Taggart, said the market is seeing normal levels of activity.

“But with the supply of homes meeting demand, there is nothing driving value growth so home values are currently relatively steady.”

Investor presence in the market is down due to the latest round of LVR restrictions and the fact rents are lower they were at the height of the city’s rebuild, he said.

However, that does not mean it’s all over for the Christchurch market.

Taggart said there are still established investors with the means and ability to purchase in the city’s current market.

“Well-presented properties in desirable locations that are marketed for the right price are selling quickly and continue to be in strong demand.”

Further, Trade Me Property’s February data indicated that one sector of the Christchurch market is doing particularly well.

While price growth in the wider Christchurch market was just 0.7% year-on-year, the city’s apartment market saw year-on-year growth of 28.3%.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jefferies said the average asking price of an apartment in Christchurch has now hit $442,650.

“The city’s apartment market has surged as more and more new inner city apartments hit the market.”

Read more:

Opportunities in Christchurch North 

Christchurch Central: Rising from the rubble 

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