Empty homes outside of red zone

One in 10 homes are unoccupied in St Martins and Opawa despite the suburbs being outside the residential red zone, newly released Census data shows.

The number of unoccupied dwellings in New Zealand has risen by 16 per cent since the 2006 Census - or 26,000 homes, according to 2013 results.


Government statistician Liz MacPherson said Canterbury accounted for nearly 40 per cent of that increase - a legacy of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

The 2013 data shows unoccupancy rates to be, not surprisingly, extremely high in some red-zone areas.

About 40 per cent of the houses in Avonside, Bexley and Dallington were recorded as empty when Census staff stopped by earlier this year.

Some of them will have been removed with the roll-out of demolition programmes.

But the 2013 data also shows that a significant amount of homes were unoccupied in areas outside the red zone.

Roughly one in 10 houses were sitting empty in St Martins, with 87 per cent occupancy, when the census was carried out. In Opawa the occupation rate was 89 per cent.

The suburb with the highest occupancy rate in Canterbury was Islington - at 97 per cent.

The rate was the lowest in areas where there are holiday houses such as Akaroa and Port Levy.





- St Martins went from having 96 unoccupied homes in 2006 to having 252 (13 per cent unoccupied) in 2013

- Opawa went from having 57 unoccupied homes in 2006 to 147 (11 per cent unoccupied) in 2013

- Avonside went from having 75 unoccupied homes in 2006 to 531 (42 per cent unoccupied) in 2013

- Dallington went from having 54 unoccupied homes in 2006 to 519 (41 per cent unoccupied) in 2013

- Bexley went from having 78 unoccupied homes in 2006 to 594 (40 per cent unoccupied) in 2013


Canterbury now has the second-highest average income in the country, new results from the 2013 Census show.

The information has been released today as part of the latest batch of census results from Statistics New Zealand.

The results show the median income for Cantabrians aged 15 years and older is now $30,100 - the second-highest in New Zealand after Wellington.

Canterbury also recorded a 28.1 per cent increase in median incomes since the 2006 Census - the largest percentage increase for any region except the West Coast. 

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said the 2013 Census results also counted a big jump in the number of unoccupied dwellings in Canterbury following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Nationally, the number of unoccupied dwellings rose by 26,000 (16.4 per cent) since the 2006 Census, with Canterbury accounting for almost 40 per cent of the increase. Click on our map to see where the city's empty homes are.

Today's new census data also shows where Cantabrians have moved to and from over the last five years. 

Most of those who left Canterbury after 2008 moved to Auckland and Otago. 

Those who moved to Canterbury also came mainly from Auckland and Otago, and a large number came from overseas, MacPherson said. 

Other key findings about Canterbury from the 2013 Census results include: 

- Maori make up 8.1 per cent of Canterbury's population - the third-lowest percentage in the country after Otago and Tasman.

- Canterbury has the third-equal highest percentage of Asian people (6.9 per cent) in New Zealand.

- Canterbury has the fourth-highest percentage of overseas-born residents (19.6 percent), up 1.7 percentage points from the 2006 Census. About 27 per cent of Canterbury's overseas-born residents were born in Asia.

- Canterbury's rate of home ownership has decreased from 70.4 per cent in 2006 to 68.3 per cent this year.

MacPherson said up-to-date census information was vital for future planning, especially in Canterbury.

"Census lets government, councils, communities, and businesses map their future. This latest release of information is keenly awaited by those in charge of planning for Canterbury," she said.

The Press