Due to the earthquakes Christchurch isn’t operating on the same property cycle as the rest of the country, so while many markets have hit their peak, the Christchurch market is on a unique trajectory.
It’s an important distinction to make, says Braziers Property Management’s Tony Brazier, because if investors are investing cyclically, they need to know where Christchurch sits in that cycle.
“We are probably four and a half years into a five-year slowdown period. So we’re looking at the early signs of kicking away again, it might be the middle to the end of 2019.”
Quinovic Property Management principal Tessa Keeling says the rental supply and demand equation has settled since its correction following the oversupply post-quake.
Before Christmas, she says she only had five or six properties available for rent “which is a pretty low number for us to have in terms of available properties, so that’s a good sign that demand is meeting the supply”.
In the year ahead, she expects the increased costs of compliance and regulatory changes, such as the removal of letting fees will be passed on to tenants through marginally increased rents.
Wilson agrees demand is increasing slowly and that there won’t be any huge surprises in 2019.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a rockstar rental market in 2019 but it will just progressively carry on in the current trend which is a 5% uplift for the year.
“That [rental] supply that’s currently there – I’ll expect that to be absorbed and when that gets taken up we’ll see some further pressure on rents.”