As a real estate specialist, I am aware every day of fluctuations in house prices and how this affects vendors and purchasers of real estate. Following the earthquakes and subsequent demand for new properties, Christchurch was something of an anomaly in the market, not following the trends of the country’s other large cities.
Currently, eight years on from our seismic events, the market here is rebalancing itself. The average sale time for a property is now 56 days – that’s the longest time for more than seven years. Why is that? There has definitely been uncertainty over the introduction or otherwise of a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and about immigration law changes. In addition, insurance and EQC money has pretty much dried up.
House prices, however, have remained flat – the fluctuations are merely ripples, rather than waves. The median price has slipped by only one percent over the past 12 months and there is also stock available. That means choice and opportunity for buyers. I believe it is a strong time to buy right now with purchasers less likely to drown in competition.
There’s no CGT but there are lower bank interest rates and, in some parts of the city, vendors have adjusted their price expectations to better reflect the market – over 70 percent of the houses sold in the city have been under $750,000. Only 10 percent are over $1 million.
This makes it a good time to sell if you are looking to upgrade. So call me on 021 339 078 or email email@example.com to have your property appraised at no cost and with no ongoing commitment.
The recent announcement of the construction of a joint venture anchor project, the new sports stadium, is a massive big tick for the future of our city centre. Located between Madras, Hereford, Tuam and Barbadoes Streets, this site will have huge economic impact on businesses, rentals, accommodation and hospitality.
Sport in all formats is a massive financial contributor to any city and major sporting groups are key assets to have that we should be proud of. Sports events, plus their loyal followers, bring benefits to all industries. The location of the new stadium and demands for accommodation will have significant benefits to neighbouring apartments and townhouses with short and long term tenancies.
The neighbouring dual key style Latimer Central, currently under construction at 272 Barbadoes Street, plus the completed apartments at 282 Madras and 194 Worcester Streets, will be sought after investments. For a free booklet on these newly built properties under $550,000 email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 021 339 078.
Those of you who read my monthly column regularly will know how passionate I am about revitalising the central city. To survive it needs not only retail, office and civic developments, but a strong residential component as well.
The recently announced Riverbank Quarter for the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Manchester St combines both residential and work uses in 17 live-work units of two and three-storey classic red and white brick terraced townhouses designed by architects Stufkens and Chambers.
People have the option to buy the units already fitted out or alternatively, they will be able to fit the units out as they wish. The apartments will be upstairs, with commercial activity at street level or as a pure residential two-level home. I expect it will be bespoke-type businesses which will be interested in this type of development. The location, so close to other great inner city activities and examples of progress such as New Regent Street, the Margaret Mahy Playground, the Town Hall and Forté Health, is a business owner’s dream.
The project approved by Crown development company Ōtākaro, is a really exciting, innovative prospect. Exactly what is needed to speed up central city growth and it’s due to get underway immediately for completion in 2020. The units range in price from $595,000 plus GST, as a shell.
The developers are the DGM Group who have also undertaken several other central city projects including the three-stage Rakaia, Juno and West Kilmore apartment development by Cranmer Square and the Metro, Braemar and Dorset St apartments. They have the future of the CBD at heart as well.
Buying a first home can be stressful. People are bombarded with so much information they most likely have never heard before. I want to demystify the process, make it understandable and less scary. So I am running a free one-hour seminar covering the KiwiSaver scheme and how this can be used to help fund a first home.
On hand to walk through the details with me will be a mortgage broker, a lawyer and a rep from a new home building company. They will explain how under the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal scheme you may be able to put some of your KiwiSaver savings towards a first home and under the Housing New Zealand Home Start grant you may be able to get a grant towards your first home. You must have been a KiwiSaver member for three or more years and can only withdraw money for your first home – not an investment property.
I have an actual scenario to talk about of a couple I recently helped into a new home through the scheme. It was immensely satisfying to see them realise their dreams of ownership. The reality is that people could own their first home for a weekly mortgage that is less than they are paying in rent.
The free one-hour seminar is on Tuesday 5 March from 6pm to 7pm in the auction rooms of Harcourts Gold at 471 Papanui Road. It’s limited to 50 people, so to register go to Harcourts Gold’s Facebook page, phone 021 339 078 or email email@example.com.
How great was it to see Christchurch humming with locals and visitors this holiday period?
You didn’t have to look far to see people out and about enjoying what the new-look city has to offer. Thanks to some great weather, and multiple events and festivals, thousands and thousands of happy visitors – both domestic and international – enjoyed the freedom to roam our inner-city.
The Hagley Oval hosted the Black Caps’ match against Sri Lanka and the newly-revitalised World Buskers’ Festival attracted both young and old to its spectacular events. We’ve also been treated to some awesome concerts at Hagley Park, with the likes of Fat Freddy’s Drop, as well as ‘A Summer’s Day Live’, which featured international guests, Dragon, TOTO, and Jefferson Starship. What better way to spend a spectacular Canterbury day than with a concert and picnic in the park?
Elsewhere, retailers and hospitality workers were kept happy – and very busy – with a welcome Christmas boost, thanks to late-night shopping, and bars, cafés and restaurants were open for business. Of course, the great weather helped, too.
It’s also been interesting to see many of the new central city anchor projects starting to become a reality and it’s exciting to watch their progress.
I really enjoyed exploring the city over the summer break and seeing so many smiles and families having fun. Well done to the council and all parties involved in presenting our inner-city to the world.
Have you checked out your new backyard? Take a look around Christchurch – you might just be surprised with what you discover.
About 6,000 people currently live in Christchurch’s inner city; a third less than pre-quake. We have been warned we must speed up central city growth if new enterprises are to survive. The CBD has seen a lot of retail, office and civic developments, but the missing ingredient is people.
I believe it’s critically important for the future of the city to have a strong residential component. You need a night-time economy to add to the daytime economy. So I totally endorse the Christchurch City Council’s recently announced three-year plan aimed at accelerating the inner city population, named Project 8011 after the central city postcode and the estimated number of homes needed for 20,000 people.
Incentives in the plan range from working with developers to provide subsidies around the consenting and building fees charged by the council, to low equity loans, rebates on development contributions and investment from the NZ Super Fund, as well as introducing rating and other financial incentives to encourage people to buy. Its geographical focus is the central city as defined in the Christchurch District Plan – known as the ‘Four Avenues’.
I am already seeing keen interest from buyers in apartments, town houses and homes in the specified area; the SOHO Apartments at 118 Salisbury St where pre-paid rates and pre-paid body corp fees for up to three years are part of the incentive to purchase, are 60 percent pre-sold. So the new plan is being talked about and is working.
The e-scooters have landed! Seven hundred Lime scooters descended on the city recently and another five hundred will be here soon. Many have wholeheartedly embraced this new mode of transport; others are less enthusiastic, calling them a public nuisance and citing safety concerns.
I see real advantages in the introduction of e-scooters, especially for getting around in the CBD and nearby suburbs. Users can go directly to their destination on their own time and not be dependent on public transport. I have seen all kinds of people on the scooters – from students to business people in suits – and they have without exception had huge smiles on their faces. Being on a scooter brings out one’s inner child.
I do understand that we are in an early stage of learning to find the balance between pedestrians and scooters on our footpaths and access areas. To be accepted, scooters must be used responsibly. Change takes time. When smart phones first appeared, they were thought to be a temporary fad. Now where would we be without them? The Christchurch City Council is leading the way by having a scooter base outside its premises and I believe CBD apartment residents will become massive users in the future because of the convenience.
Ride that scooter a short distance from the CBD to Merivale to a just launched boutique apartment complex. Known as the Aria Apartments, the three storey building at 1 Hewitts Road has fourteen one and two-bedroom apartments very well priced from $460,000.
The new covered stadium for Christchurch has the green light. Last month the Christchurch City Council voted in favour of using $220 million of funding promised to the city by the Labour-led Government to ensure the multi-use half-billion dollar stadium will go ahead. It will be only the second of its kind in the country.
As a business man in this city I applaud the decision. A new covered multi-use arena will take the city to a new level, not only by hosting events that will provide access to top notch sporting and cultural entertainment, but also by bringing people and economic activity from wider Canterbury and the greater South Island. We won’t be missing out on Ed Sheeran-type concerts in the future with their huge financial injections into the economy – and our champion Crusaders rugby team will have a home ground worthy of them.
Short and longer-term accommodation for participants and spectators at events at the stadium is going to be highly sought after. That’s why we are seeing inner city apartments being snapped up right now. Scheduled for completion in late 2019 is a new apartment development adjacent to Cranmer Square called The West Kilmore Apartments. The nine-level building comprises 17 luxury apartments with one, two and three bedroom options, designed by architects Wilson & Hill. The stunning views and high specification certainly make the West Kilmore Apartments a superior choice in inner city living.
Christchurch’s Anchor Projects are key initiatives to attract people into the central city. They are all about people – making the central city a place where people want to live, work and visit for social and cultural activities.
At long last we are now seeing physical evidence that major new public facilities such as the Convention Centre (Te Pae) and the Metro Sports Facility (Taiwhanga Rehia) are more than concepts on urban planners’ drawing boards. Bookings are already rolling in for the Convention Centre due to be finished in early 2020 and predicted to bring in more than $60 million in revenue to Canterbury.
Short and longer-term accommodation for participants and spectators at conferences and events at these world-class facilities is going to be highly sought after. I am already finding inner city apartments are selling like proverbial ‘hotcakes’. Christchurch Central is definitely experiencing exponential growth and popularity from both locals and internationals. Scheduled for completion at a similar time to the Convention Centre, is a new inner city apartment development on Salisbury Street called SOHO Apartments. There are 44 apartments and 6 townhouses in this complex – all 2-bedroom/2-bathroom units, finished to a high specification and selling for $550,000 to $650,000.
Each apartment has a secure car park and we are currently selling them off the plans from the developers. These units are an excellent opportunity for potential buyers to not only secure a better future for themselves and their families, but to also be an integral part of the renewed vibrancy of our beautiful city.
See www.sohochristchurch.co.nz /#markoloughin for more information.