Christchurch Property Market

This article breaks down everything you need to know about the Christchurch property market, including a breakdown of the suburbs with the highest yields.

Last Updated: 01/08/22


Ed McKnight

Economist, property investor and host of the Property Academy Podcast

Looking to Invest or buy in the Christchurch property market?

This article breaks down all the most essential facts about the Christchurch property market and the relative house prices. This includes which suburbs have grown the fastest over the past 20 years; which suburbs tend to attract the highest yields, and whether the city's house prices are undervalued.

Capital Growth of Christchurch Suburbs

Which Christchurch Suburb's House Price Grew the Fastest?

The Christchurch property market is made up of 85 suburbs. Over the last 20 years, the fastest appreciating suburb has been Strowan. House prices there grew 7.05% on average per year, compared to 5.49% for the slowest appreciating suburb, Westmorland. While the median Christchurch suburb appreciated at a rate of 6.32%.

That means that the percentage point difference between Christchurch's fastest-growing suburb and the city's slowest growing suburb was 1.56 percentage points.

Christchurch property market

That means there is has historically been less variation between suburbs in Christchurch than there has been in the other two major centres, Auckland and Wellington. In Auckland, the gap between the fastest and slowest appreciating suburbs was 5.09% and in Wellington, that gap was 6.24%.

What does this mean in practice for property investors? If you accidentally invest in a low-growth suburb in Christchurch, you've got less to miss out on than if you invested in a low-growth suburb in other major centres.

Gross Yields of Christchurch Suburbs

Which Christchurch Suburbs Have the Highest Yields?

While Christchurch has historically attracted lower capital growth compared to other cities, suburbs in the city tend to be higher yielding than those in other major urban centres.

The median gross yield across Christchurch City suburbs is 3.97%. That compares to 3.12% in Wellington and Hamilton and 3.36% in Auckland.

Right now, the highest yielding suburb in the Christchurch property market is Aranui. This suburb achieved a gross yield of 5.55%. Merivale had the lowest gross yield, at just 2.02%.

Fastest Growing Suburbs

House Price Increase Ranges From 4.90% - 6.86% Based on Suburb. But Which Were the Fastest?

The median house price in Christchurch grew at 6.57% between Jan 2000 and Dec 2021 ($155,000 to $628,000).

However, house price growth varied widely in different suburbs.

Within that period, the median property in Strowan grew at 7.05% – the fastest in the Christchurch area.

These houses grew in value from $258,600 to $1,157,550– meaning that Strowan homeowners earned $836,650 within the period. That is almost $40,861 a year, which is higher than the median personal income.

The slowest growing suburb was Westmorland, which grew at 5.49%, from $320,000 to $1,036,250. That's a total of $585,600 - just over $32,557 a year.

The other suburbs that grew the fastest were:

The suburbs that grew the slowest were:

Is the Christchurch Property Market Undervalued?

Is the Christchurch Property Market Undervalued?

If you're considering investing in Christchurch, then you've probably already seen that Canterbury house prices have been relatively flat over the last 6 to 7 years. In fact, house prices in the city have levelled off since December 2013.

At that time, the Canterbury median house price was $400,000. By May 2020 that had only grown to $460,000.

While that $60,000 gain is nothing to be sniffed at, it represents only a 2.17% compounding gain every year. That's incredibly low, especially during a time where house prices leapt forward elsewhere around the country.

If you're at the stage where you are considering investing in property in Christchurch, then you might question: “are Christchurch house prices going to continue to be flat in the foreseeable future?”

That's the stage where you can look at a graph like the one below which compares the Christchurch median house price with the New Zealand median house price. This helps to give a sense of where Christchurch house prices sit relative to the rest of New Zealand.

Over the last 29 years, Christchurch's median house price has been 91.68% of the New Zealand median.

What that means is that if the New Zealand median house price was $100,000, we'd expect the Christchurch median house price to be $91,680.

However, sometimes Christchurch house prices were above their long term average, and sometimes they were below. And what this really tracks is how fast Christchurch house prices are increasing relative to the rest of the country.

When the line's coming down, this means that Christchurch house prices are increasing more slowly than everywhere else in the country. When it's going up, Christchurch house prices are increasing at a faster rate than the rest of New Zealand.

This can be used to get a sense of whether Christchurch house prices are relatively undervalued or overvalued compared to the rest of the country.

Right now, the Christchurch median house price is sitting at 74.43% of the NZ median house price, which is 17.25% lower than its long term average.

If Christchurch house prices revert back to that long term average, then we'll start to see some good capital gains happening within the Christchurch region.

To get a sense of the Christchurch median house price over time, explore the fill data since 1992:

Council Breakdown - Over/Undervalued

Where are House Prices Most Over and Undervalued within the Canterbury Region?

This map shows a breakdown of how over or under-valued each council area is right now in the Canterbury property market. These figures are calculated exactly the same way as the graph in the above section.

MacKenzie district appears to be the most over-valued. House prices there are about 32.46% above where we would usually expect them to be over the long term.

Christchurch City, on the other hand, appears to be under-valued. House prices in this district appear to be 20.38% below where we would expect them to be.

This means that we've got greater confidence that Christchurch City would receive a higher rate of capital growth (house price increases) over the next 5-10 years compared to MacKenzie.


Where Are the Most Affordable Properties In Canterbury?

The map below depicts which districts within the Canterbury Region have the most and least affordable house prices (REINZ, December 2021).

The darker the district, the more expensive the average house price for that area...

The Selwyn district is by far the most expensive district within the Canterbury region, with properties reaching an average price of $830,000 (December 2021).

By comparison, the Waimate District is the most affordable, with an average house price of just $390,000. That's an enormous $440,000 difference compared to Selwyn.

Population Growth

Which Part of Canterbury Gets the Highest Population Growth?

The map below illustrates the projected population growth for each district within the Canterbury Region over the next 25 years (2018 - 2043).

The darker the district, the more the population is predicted to grow in that area...

Over this period, Selwyn is expected to see the most growth of all the council areas within the region - 60.74% in total.

By contrast, the Kaikoura District is expected to shrink by 4.36% over the same timeframe.

Christchurch Suburb Prices

Christchurch Suburb Prices

Other Property Markets to Look Into

Other Property Markets to Look Into

If you found this article useful, then you might also like our analyses on the other property markets in New Zealand. You can read all about the Auckland property market, the Wellington property market and the Christchurch property market by clicking any of the links mentioned here.

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Opes Partners

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The developer pays us a marketing fee when you confirm that the property is the right fit for you. Very similar to the way a mortgage broker gets paid by the bank.

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Ed McKnight

Ed McKnight is the host of the Property Academy Podcast – NZ's #1 business podcast. He is an economist, having studied at the University of Auckland and the University of Waikato. He's a frequent writer for Informed Investor Magazine and has contributed to NewsHub, Stuff, OneRoof and Property Investor Magazine.