Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Send news

News tags

mental health  physical activity  earthquake  vacancies  families  public health  children  funding  poverty  health determinants  social  Community development  planning  employment  healthy cities  volunteers  newsletter  youth  volunteering  nutrition  employment opportunity  housing  alcohol and drugs  maori  community engagement  rebuilding  wellbeing  disabilities  Lectures  counselling  Training  earthquake recovery  sustainability  event  community gardens  Community  seminar  Awards  stress  Community Groups  mens health  research  arts  smokefree  culture  men  exercise  migrants  community event  education  environment  resilience  human rights  health  medical  business  sport  conferences  survey  mental wellbeing  Courses  obesity  elderly  support group  environmental health  healthy food  health promotion  violence  pacific health  resources  rebuild  women  race relations  meeting  gardens  workshop  services  leadership  forum  water  disabled  repair  transport  prevention  pacific  dance  fundraising  asian health  sexual health  inequality  cancer  support  disasters  development  mindfulness  dementia  presentation  collaboration  health in all policies  data analysis  recovery  smoking  law  drugs and alcohol  technology  safety  cycling  Sleep  policy  parenting  media  hearing  walking  land  neighbours  social justice  qualification  resilient cities  information  community connection  consultation  oral health  bullying  depression  youth empowerment  young people  activities  non-profit  charity  harm  NURSES  addiction  disease  Communication  alcohol  symposium  submission  anxiety  accessibility  Relationships  eating  economics  Advocacy  eLearning  falls  parking  energy  efficiency  heating  insulation  advice  Eating Disorders  abuse  waste  Matariki  webinar  diabetes  workplace  Film  Climate Change  solutions  urban  management  economy  plan  restoration  Report  Vulnerability  welfare  parks  learning  awareness  emergencies  legislation  injury prevention  reading  Meeting Room  conservation  language  refugees  recreation  built environment  data  venue  urban design  Food  older people  finances  suicide  heritage  gender  recycling  breastfeeding  public  identity  Nursing  submissions  Rainbow  biodiversity  campaign  promotion  Gut Health  diversity  therapy  older adults  sexuality  computing  pollution  School Holidays  Arts Therapy  providers  gambling  Maori health  Cervical cancer  screening  trauma  autism  Governance  treaty of waitangi  care  mentoring  pets  relaxation  Professional Development  pornography  exhibition  history  discrimination  vaping  equity  lockdown  grief  rural  hygiene  participation  tourism  summer  intervention  warning  podcast  science  petition  swimming  roadworks  traffic  wildlife  beaches  pools  immunisation  vaccination  brain  preparation  open day  market  evaluation  noise  music  property  testing  crafts  CALD  cultural diversity  camping  creativity  child health  tamariki  climate action  refugee  migrant  community events  road safety  library  Hornby  skills  placemaking  regenerative communities  journey  reflection  regional council  councillors  water management  emergency management  retirement  stress management  Christmas  family  festival  alcohol harm  waterways  planting  health protection  legionnaire's disease  hepatitis  heatwaves  river beds  water safety  fishing  gardening  workshops  stormwater  biosecurity  volunteer  plant and animal pest management  politics  faith  crime  drugs  pregnancy  native birds  Waimakariri  water quality  schools  health professionals  heart disease  kura  school  ethical issues  rangatahi  Linwood  running  donations  whanau  financial pressures  online  health professional  flooding  conflict  peace  winter 

Why Christchurch is still NZ’s most affordable major city

Wednesday, October 20, 2021   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: housing, economy

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 20th October 2021

Ōtautahi Christchurch has continually been referred to as New Zealand’s most affordable city. But recent articles have cast some shade on this claim.

Jorge Chang Urrea is ChristchurchNZ’s Senior Economist, and he talks to us about what affordability means and if Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city, can still claim the top spot.

What does ‘affordability’ mean?

Jorge: Affordability is a term used by economists to compare the ratio of income to house prices. Essentially how much of a person’s income is taken up by mortgage repayments.

How do Christchurch’s house prices compare nationally?

Jorge: Christchurch continues to have the lowest median house price out of the three main centres and lower than the New Zealand average.

For example, in August 2021 the median house price in Auckland was $1,200,000, whereas in Christchurch, it was almost half this at $650,000.

The other factor to calculate ‘affordability’ is income. Has the average income kept pace with the growth in house prices?

Jorge: During the last decade, the average weekly median household income in Canterbury has been $1,543, slightly above the national figure ($1,529). Also, during the same period, the average unemployment rate in Christchurch has been 4.6 per cent, below the national unemployment rate (5.1 per cent).

In Canterbury, from 2016 to 2019 annual average income growth was higher than the average growth rate of the median house price (For example the average income increased by 3.9 per cent per year vs median house price growth of 2 per cent per year).

Canterbury’s average income continued to increase in 2020 and 2021 by 2.5 and 4.4 per cent respectively. But it is during these two years that house prices have seen some of the strongest growth – outpacing income growth.

Yet still, Christchurch residents contribute less of their overall income to their mortgage than those in Wellington and Auckland. In Canterbury 18 per cent of the average income goes to a mortgage, compared to Auckland at 39 per cent and Wellington at 30 per cent.

So putting the two factors together – house prices and income - where does Christchurch come on the affordability scale?

Jorge: There has been a national upwards trend putting pressure on affordability driven by strong growth in house prices, yet overall Christchurch remains the most affordable across the main centres and compared to the New Zealand average. The higher the ratio, the less affordable the region.

Christchurch’s housing affordability ratio at 5.9 sits below the national average (8.1) and is actually the same as in June 2007.

Christchurch is the country’s second-largest city and is the second most affordable of all the cities in New Zealand (13 of them). Only Invercargill is more affordable, with a housing affordability ratio of 5.1, whilst the less affordable cities are Tauranga (with a ratio of 10.5), Napier (9.2) and Auckland (9.2).

Do you expect Christchurch to remain the most affordable city?

Jorge: I think Christchurch could remain one of the most affordable cities in New Zealand. The city has been experiencing high growth rates in terms of number of new residential buildings consents. In August 2021, the number of consents compared to August 2020 grew by almost 67 per cent, compared to the national increase of 42.3 per cent (in Auckland it increased by 55 per cent, whereas in Wellington it fell by 32 per cent).

This means that in the short and medium-term the supply of houses will increase, potentially dampening the ongoing increase in house prices.

Christchurch is also proving to be an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand or relocate – due to the availability of land, growing talent pool fed by world-class universities and the city’s proximity to air and seaports.

 If the city continues to attract these high value businesses, which in turn provide employment opportunities, then the affordability of New Zealand’s second largest city seems set to continue.