Canterbury rents expected to flatten

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 17/05/2012

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Average weekly rents continue to rise across the wider Canterbury region, though in Christchurch they are rising in the west and falling in some eastern suburbs.

Forecasts by the Department of Building and Housing show Canterbury rents should begin to flatten in the next 6 months.

The department has issued a series of key Canterbury indicators including rents in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri compared to the national movements.

Average weekly private rents in Christchurch were $330 in April, just lower than the New Zealand average of $332.

The Christchurch average was 0.8 per cent lower than March and 6 per cent higher than April 2011.

The forecasts for flattening rents were produced by the department using a moving average modelling process, based on its historic series of rent statistics gathered from landlords and the market.

Suburbs in the north-west and west of Christchurch, such as Yaldhurst, Broomfield and Wigram, continued to show strong increases in average weekly private rents, the department said.

However, rents had fallen in some eastern suburbs, such as New Brighton and Ferrymead.

As with house prices, rents within the Waimakariri and Selwyn districts were continuing to rise, it said.

"Again, this is likely to be due to people moving within commuting distance of Christchurch city."

In Canterbury rents were rising across all bedroom types, though larger houses, with four and five or more bedrooms, continued to show the highest growth.

The earthquakes had destroyed most of the single unit accommodation which was mainly used by single men, the department said.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests solo mothers are also reporting it can be hard to source single units."

The department noted that recent migration figures from Statistics New Zealand had shown that migration in and out of Christchurch might not be starting to return to pre-earthquake levels as previously thought.

"March 2012 saw a sharp increase in the number of people leaving Canterbury ... largely driven by people moving to Australia."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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