Christchurch “well down road of recovery” as new homes increase

Photo: GeofTheref

Christchurch is “well down” the road of recovery after the 2011 earthquake, with construction of new homes continuing to climb.

The quakes cost the city 10,500 homes, with developers, architects and industry officials making concerted efforts to rebuild in the years that followed. Rents declined by 7 per cent in the past year as compared to a national increase of 3 per cent, with house prices up 2.6 per cent compared to the national increase of 14.2 per cent.

“Housing in Christchurch was an acute problem two years ago, with costs rising rapidly and record numbers of people requiring emergency housing. We are now well down the road of recovery,” says Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“It is also pleasing we are well ahead of the Housing Accord target of having 700 additional social houses finished by December 2016, with 772 completed at June 2016.”

Now, the signing of a dead has brought a $300 million, 600-home development on land at Christchurch’s Riccarton Racecourse one step closer.

“The deed, between the Crown, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Riccarton Racecourse Board of Trustees, is the next step required to lift the reserve status and allow the development of 600 homes to start on land at the racecourse,” says Smith. “The housing development has been facilitated by legislation passed by Parliament in June. This development adds to three set up under the Christchurch Housing Accord, between the Christchurch City Council and the Government, which aimed to increase the longer term supply and affordability of homes.”

The development, alongside those at Awatea, and Colombo and Welles streets, are the final phase of the Government’s housing response to the Christchurch Earthquakes. These developments, on Government and council land, are aimed at boosting the long-term supply of homes with a focus on increasing the proportion in the more affordable price range. The first of these 1000 homes were opened at Awatea in March.

“The completion of these four Government-initiated housing projects and the council’s new housing organisation will help give Christchurch a mix of social and affordable housing to meet future needs,” concludes Smith.