Christchurch nine years on - The reshaping of a city

As the authorities closed off the central city and red-stickered homes after February 22, they knew there was no handbook for what came next and big decisions were needed.

Unprecedented moves followed. The central city was redesigned, large land tracts designated for Crown buy-ups, whole suburbs closed, and managed home repair schemes launched. Laws bestowing special powers were passed, and a new Government entity formed to run the show.

Nine years on, those decisions continue to shape Christchurch, often in ways that were not foreseen.

While the quakes have thrown up insurance wrangles no-one expected, they also led to Christchurch enjoying the most stable housing market of New Zealand’s main centres.

The rebuilding of wrecked homes including the 8000 that were red-zoned has led to 25,000 new homes being built in the city, and more in nearby Selwyn and Waimakariri districts as people moved further west and north.

As well as free-standing homes in post-quake subdivisions, an increasing amount of housing construction is in new medium-density hubs around suburban shopping centres and in inner suburbs as well as the central city.

With Christchurch keen to boost its population, city leaders hope the affordability of homes, as well as the city rebuild and new amenities, will help attract new residents to both suburbs and central city.

The city’s estimated central city population of 8000 is still far short of the 20,000 the city council wanted by 2024.

Christchurch’s economic growth has slowed since the peak of the rebuild, but the city still has one of the county’s lowest unemployment rates.

Property Investors Club is a strong believer that the Christchurch market has great times ahead. There are upcoming seminars providing guidance around property investment. See the below link for more information.

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