Confidence slump among Christchurch landlords

Confidence has fallen but for the most part, Christchurch landlords are slightly optimistic.
LIZ MCDONALD/FAIRFAX NZ

Confidence has fallen but for the most part, Christchurch landlords are slightly optimistic.

Optimism among Christchurch's commercial property investors has sunk to pre-earthquake levels as the rebuild drags on.

After the earthquakes investors in the city overwhelmingly reported confidence that things would be better in a year's time, and were the most optimistic in the country. Five years on they are not so sure.

The opinions come from a quarterly survey by realtor Colliers International, which weighs optimism and pessimism among investors to create a confidence score.

In the latest survey, Christchurch commercial landlords on average were just 6 per cent more optimistic than pessimistic about whether the market would be better in 12 months. This was down from about 40 per cent a year ago.

Industrial investors were the most optimistic in the city, followed by retail investors, with office investors slightly pessimistic.

It was the first time since the earthquakes that optimism ratings among the city's property investors were in single figures.

Colliers' national research director, Alan McMahon, said while Christchurch's investors were not as positive, the drop in optimism was an expected reaction as the rebuild settled down after several years of activity.

Investors were realising that many projects would take a long time, with items such as the anchor projects holding up development in some parts of the city.

The more straightforward parts of the rebuild had gone ahead, and now it was "a long, hard slog" to get some developments off the ground, he said.

On the whole, however, the Christchurch investors were not pessimistic. The exception was office investors, who were facing the possibility of over-supply in some areas.

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Other findings in the survey were that Queenstown's commercial property investors now have the most confidence, with those in Tauranga second.

Confidence levels among Auckland investors slipped to third place, with Hamilton fourth. Next in order were Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, and Whangarei.

In the office sector Auckland and Wellington investors have never been more confident.

The report said that nationally, investor sentiment has built on the growth in confidence achieved late last year and was now at a two-year high.

The number of optimists outnumbered pessimists by a margin of 27 per cent in March, but not all investors expected a clear run ahead, said the report.

 - Stuff

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