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Flexibility in recovery housing market needed

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 05:00 01/03/2013

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The housing market in Christchurch will need to adapt over the next 15 years as the city goes through different stages of recovery.

Environment Canterbury has compiled a draft report on land use in Christchurch, which shows demand for new housing is likely to be the highest in the months approaching April 2013 - the initial deadline for most people who accepted the government's red-zone offer to leave their properties.

That deadline has since been extended by three months.

The report said 6200 red-zoned households intended to stay in Greater Christchurch, with the rest migrating elsewhere. Of those, 4800 households had relocated by October 2012. A total of 7800 dwellings have been red-zoned.

"Those staying in Greater Christchurch will either be buying new houses or existing houses," the report said.

The report showed sufficient zoned land existed in greenfield locations to meet the anticipated demand for permanent housing for the next 15 years.

However, when peak demand for temporary housing was factored in, more sections would be needed.

In a "maximum peak scenario" for temporary accommodation - including displaced households and the rebuild workforce - 32,000 units would be needed, the report estimated.

"Either most of the identified greenfield land would need to be developed and put on the market or significant accommodation provision would need to be made through intensification within the existing urban area."

The peak demand for temporary accommodation was originally estimated to occur over the next three years, but it was now thought it would occur later.

The report warned that the housing would need to adapt to meet the changes.

"If demand for temporary accommodation isn't adequately provided for, rate of recovery may be at risk of being reduced."

DEMAND FORECAST

The additional housing demand is likely to be the following for an earthquake recovery of 10-15 years: 4000 to 5000 permanent houses for existing residents 1500 houses per year for household formation, natural growth and immigration 6000 temporary houses at the peak for displaced households whose houses are being rebuilt 5000 to 15,000 at the peak for temporary rebuild workforce.

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- The Press

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