ChCh floods aid Timaru house sales

More Christchurch residents are buying real estate in Timaru.

"We've had four sales [to Christchurch people] this year and some of them have been for investment purposes," area manager of Property Brokers, Hamish Niles said.

"Across our company I know we are dealing with three to four people from Christchurch right now. This shows the Christchurch sector is spreading its wings."

He believes the reason is ongoing problems in Christchurch.

"Part of the increase in demand is the infrastructure coming up around South Canterbury. People are also getting payouts and want to invest in the South Canterbury region because the price of rentals is too high in Christchurch," Niles said.

Michelle Greer, owner of the local Ray White franchise, believes the recent floods in Christchurch are partly behind the increase in demand for property in Timaru.

"There is a mix of people wanting to buy and rent but there has been an increase again in people wanting to rent. The demand is not as strong as when the quakes hit, but it has picked up," she said.

Sales manager and auctioneer at Harcourts, Stewart Burgess, agreed the demand was not as strong as three years ago, but was steady.

"After the quakes there was quite an influx, when Christchurch residents moved to Timaru and then moved back for jobs, etc. We have steady interest from buyers who are looking to rent, because rentals in Christchurch are at a premium," Burgess said.

The sort of people from Christchurch looking to buy or rent in Timaru are a mixed bag of retirees, families and investors.

"We tend to get older people looking to invest and we get families," Niles said.

Greer agreed. "It is usually older people looking for retirement townhouses and families looking for single-level, weatherboard houses."

Niles sees the trend as positive. "The future is looking bright for South Canterbury."

The Timaru Herald