Christchurch suburb price gaps narrow as buyers look for value

Cheaper suburbs are finding favour with Christchurch home buyers.
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Cheaper suburbs are finding favour with Christchurch home buyers.

Christchurch home buyers are opting for some of the city's cheapest suburbs as they hunt for value, while at the same time demand slows for some pricier locations.

The shift in demand meant values were rising fastest in suburbs with median home prices between $300,000 and $375,000.  At the top end of the market, average values were flat or had dropped.

The information come from from valuation agency Quotable Value's latest suburb report, which estimated median values based on sales.

Values in most Christchurch suburbs have risen slightly or stayed flat.
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Values in most Christchurch suburbs have risen slightly or stayed flat.

The biggest rise in values in the past year was in Aranui, with an increase of just over 7 per cent. It was followed by Addington, North New Brighton and Sydenham, all with rises of between 3 and 4 per cent. All four suburbs have average home values of under $370,000, with Aranui one of the cheapest suburbs in Christchurch with a median value of $309,000.

QV valuer Daryl Taggart said there had been "a degree of catch-up" in values in some areas, which was largely based around affordability. 

Christchurch real estate agents had reported an increase in first-home buying in the past year, with young buyers taking advantage of continued low interest rates and incentive schemes. At the same time some investors had been put off by higher deposit requirements and the city's falling rents.

According to the QV report, the city's biggest annual falls in value were in three pricey suburbs: Fendalton recorded the biggest drop of 2.5 per cent, and Mt Pleasant and Merivale dipped by between 1 and 2 per cent.

Despite its price drop, Fendalton still had the highest value with a median of just over $1 million.

With Christchurch's housing market mainly flat since repairs and rebuilding boosted the city's housing stock, most suburbs have had modest annual increases in values in the past year of between 0.5 per cent and 2 per cent. Some suburbs have had insufficient sales for QV to calculate accurate figures.

Across Canterbury, the biggest rise in values in the past year had been in the Timaru district, where values had jumped by more than 5 per cent.

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North Canterbury's Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Oxford had annual increases of around 2 per cent,  Akaroa values rose by nearly 1.8 per cent, while they were mostly flat in Darfield, Lincoln and Leeston.

The latest home affordability study from interest.co.nz found a first home buying couple would need $338.32 a week, or 21 per cent of average take-home pay, to pay the mortgage on a cheaper home in Christchurch.

 - Stuff

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