The Christchurch rental drought?

June 14th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Press reports:

An “immediate” solution to the crisis that has crippled some families and created a new “working poor” has been delivered to the Government. …

She founded the Canterbury Affordable Housing Trust to carry out her plan and hoped the Government would provide funds to help.

Working families who were not eligible for Government support had been the hardest hit in the rental drought, she said.

Obviously rental prices have gone up in Christchurch. Personally I don’t think much of landlords who have massively hiked rents. But the issue is whether or not there are affordable houses for rent in Christchurch.

Trade Me has the following rental properties listed:

  • Up to $300/week – 167
  • $300 – $350 – 140
  • $350 – $400 – 148
  • $400 – $450 – 108
  • $450 – $500 – 69
  • $500+ – 195

And no they are not all or even mostly one bedroom places. Around 70% are three or more bedrooms.

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11 Responses to “The Christchurch rental drought?”

  1. m@tt (626 comments) says:

    Your figures are meaningless unless you relate them to figures before the quakes. Establish if the numbers are up or down first and then how that relates to the number of people looking for rentals.
    I’d also be interested to see what the shift in ratio of those in their own home to those renting is.
    In either case you have multiple people saying there is a problem and this person setting up a trust. Given the choice between it’s a conspiracy and there is a rental shortage I tend to think it’s more likely there is a shortage.

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  2. dc (174 comments) says:

    Before the quakes there were usually 1,400-1,500 Christchurch properties on Trademe. From my own tracking it peaked in March 2009 when there were 1,880 properties available. Now, with many more displaced people, and more people looking for temporary accommodation while participating in the rebuild, there are only around 800 properties. Anecdotally this is reflected in stories of dozens or hundreds of people turning up to viewings, and many of the properties listed are being rented within hours.

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  3. Viking2 (11,338 comments) says:

    yep, and given that a beneficiary gets a top up and a HNZ renter gets cheap subsidized rent why should the working person paying the fucking tax not get some support?
    Taxpayer screwed again. Frankly I’d rather support the taxpayer than the beneficiary.

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  4. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,871 comments) says:

    Isn’t it a real bastard when you really need a drought to shout about but it’s pissing with rain at the time?

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  5. KevinH (1,192 comments) says:

    The people who are suffering the most are those in the red zone that have had their homes demolished but have not had their insurance sorted so that they can move on. It is not an ideal situation and there have been claims that CERA is dragging the ball.
    Also there are tenants who don’t qualify for HNZ or WINZ and they are hurting, that dynamic of supply and demand is squeezing them so badly that many are relocating to elsewhere in New Zealand, the loss of their skills will hurt Christchurch for years to come.

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  6. Daigotsu (452 comments) says:

    Come on guys, give DPF a break

    People in Christchurch shouldn’t presume they know the situation on the ground better than a guy who checked Trademe.

    As a Christchurchian I certainly agree that we should check with Wellington-based, Dunedin-educated Farrar before relying on our own eyes.

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  7. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    I agree with Diagotsu. This is stupid.

    So there’s an ad. Big whop. If it’s not placed last night, the agent already has a nice stack of applications, and probaby half of those are offering anything up to double the stated rent in order to secure the place.

    Most of those ads will in fact fall into 2 categories:
    1. Places that no sane person would want to rent. I saw one a few months ago where you could rent a place for 3 months before they put the bulldozer through it. No sewage etc etc.
    2. Places that are already rented out.

    The reality is that trademe ads run for a certian peroid of time. But the shortage means that places will have a contract signed long before the ad runs it’s course.

    In other words, the effective number of properties *really* available is perhaps a quater of the number you’ll see in a trademe search.

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  8. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Oh, and have a look.

    6 bedroom for $155/wk.
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential/to-rent/auction-413368583.htm

    Patently, many of the so-called “affordable” places are in fact student rentals being advertised on a “per room” rate.

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  9. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    There are 27 3+ br houses advertised in Christchurch for under $300/wk.

    Of those, 6 are clearly advertised at room rate meaning that there are 21, not $167.

    21 houses within what I would consider a family price range in our second largest city.

    I checked Dunedin, and there are 99 – 5x as many, using the same criteria for a city less than half the size.

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  10. hj (6,794 comments) says:

    Proponents of “land supply” as the issue with the cost of housing like to point out that we are “only .07% urbanised (or something). Seems to me that this is irrelevant as urbanisation relates to the type of economic activity (farming, horticulture, forestry etc) and the size of the economy as a whole. What they seem to believe is that people (alone) generate wealth so you can have a bigger urban area with all the roads and infrastructure anywhere and it will generate wealth (like a dam without a river)?.

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  11. marathonmilk (9 comments) says:

    No.

    I live in Christchurch, and have seen friends and family try to get rentals – sure they might be listed for cheap, but the quality of those houses is poor, and what’s more it seems at every rental open home there are 30-40 people there checking it out which… drives up the price.

    I’m not saying there isn’t going to be the odd cheap rental somewhere, but for the most part, the rentals are expensive and there is a lot of demand/competition at the moment.

    So please don’t comment unless you know what the situation is on the ground.

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