For communities to thrive, people must have access to adequate housing to meet their needs. Affordable options are needed to ensure that everyone has access to housing in our city.

Good quality housing is important for healthy communities as it provides greater energy, water and waste efficiency.

What this means for our district

  • There is sufficient housing supply to accommodate residents
  • Affordable housing options are available
  • Housing location and density are in line with urban development targets
  • Good quality housing
  • A range of different housing types are available to meet residents' needs

How we are contributing

The District Plan provides for expected residential growth which could help avoid excess demand, causing prices to rise too rapidly for some people. It also allows for more intensification and different housing types to suit a wide range of people. We are working with partners on implementing the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy(external link), which seeks to coordinate and plan for expected growth in urban areas.

The Council is on the governance group of the Christchurch Housing First Programme(external link) - a government funded programme run by community housing and service providers aiming to end homelessness in Christchurch. We also lease our housing stock to the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust to provide social housing in the city.

How you can help

Consider sustainable and efficient options for creating a healthier home next time you're renovating or planning a new build.

How we are doing

Status What do we want to achieve? What has happened?
Positive result
PositiveResult

First home affordability

First home affordability has improved since June 2007. In April 2018, 21% of the median household take home income for people aged 25 to 29 was required to service a mortgage on a lower quartile home, compared with 36% in June 2007. Further information.

Positive result
PositiveResult

Rental affordability

Average and lower quartile rents in the city have decreased by 11% since peaking in March 2015. Further information.

Positive result
PositiveResult

Affordability of housing costs

When asked if housing costs were affordable, 27% of respondents disagreed in 2018. This has fallen from 42% in 2014. Further information
Positive result
PositiveResult

Proportion of infill development

The proportion of new housing in existing infill areas has increased from a post-earthquake low of 27% to 59% in the year to June 2018. Further information.

Mixed result
Mixed Results
Housing quality - problems with damp and mould 22% of respondents in 2018 had problems with dampness and mould in their homes, the same proportion as in 2016. Further information.

Negative Result

Negative Result
Satisfaction with the range of housing to meet current needs 53% of respondents felt the range of housing in Christchurch met their current housing needs in 2017, down from 60% in 2016.  21% who felt the range did not meet their needs. Further information.
Positive result
PositiveResult
Suitability of dwelling type In 2018, 85% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the type of home they live in suits the needs of the people living there. Further information.
Mixed result
Mixed Results
Suitability of location of home In 2018, 83% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their local neighbourhood suited their needs, compared with 89% in 2016. Further information.

First home affordability

Interest.co.nz home loan affordability index(external link) for first home buyers in Christchurch shows on average 21.5% of the median household's take home income for people aged 25 to 29 would be required to service a mortgage on a lower quartile home. Interest.co.nz considers 40% of a household's take home income to be the threshold for affordability.

The proportion of income required has generally been decreasing since peaking in 2008 at 38%. Since the earthquakes the proportion of a household's take home income required to service a mortgage has ranged between 20 and 25%. 

Affordability for young families is reduced, sitting at around 28% of household take home income required to service a mortgage, as it is assumed that it is unlikely for both adults to be working full time. For older families, servicing a mortgage is significantly more affordable at 19.5% of take home income. 

Rental affordability

Rents in Christchurch peaked at the beginning of 2015, with an average rent of around $420 per week, as a result of demand for rental housing following the earthquakes (from temporary accommodation for repairs and rebuilds, and the influx of rebuild workers). Since then the average and lower quartile rents have declined to $372 and $256 per week respectively.

Lower quartile rents (the lowest 25% of rents) did not increase as much as the mean rents after the earthquake and are currently 68% of the mean rent compared with 73% before the earthquakes.

Affordability of housing costs

Housing costs – such as rent, rates, house insurance and house maintenance – were reported to be affordable by over half of respondents to the Quality of Life survey. In 2018, 56% of Christchurch respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their housing costs were affordable. This was higher than 47% nationally. 

In 2018, 27% of Christchurch respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that their housing costs were affordable. This has decreased from 42% in 2014, and in 2018 remained lower than the national proportion of 38%.

Proportion of infill development

The UDS  aims for a balance of residential growth between greenfield areas and areas within the existing parts of the city (infill), particularly the medium density areas and central city. Before the earthquakes, infill development fluctuated between 40% and 60% of all residential development, averaging around 50% of net new dwellings between 2000 and 2010.

Since the earthquakes, infill development as a proportion of all development declined to 27% in 2013, before increasing to 59% in the year to June 2018.

Housing quality – problems with damp and mould

The quality of housing can be measured by some key factors such as how warm it is in winter, and whether there are problems with damp or mould, which are health risks. Statistics New Zealand's 2016 well-being survey(external link) found that around 50% of Christchurch residents reported their houses were often or always colder than they preferred in winter.

The Quality of Life survey in both 2016 and 2018 also showed that around 1 in 5 households (22%) agreed or strongly agreed that their homes had a problem with dampness and/or mould. This was lower than the national figure of 27% reporting dampness and/or mould.

Encouragingly, the proportion who did not report a problem with damp or cold housing increased slightly from 64% to 67% between 2016 and 2018.

Satisfaction with the range of housing to meet current needs

In 2017, 53% of respondents to the Life in Christchurch survey agreed or strongly agreed that there was a range of housing in the city to meet their current needs. This fell from 60% in 2016.

However, 21% of respondents felt that there was not a range of housing to meet their current needs, which was the same as in 2016.

One quarter of respondents felt neutral or did not know.

Suitability of dwelling type

In 2018, 85% of respondents to the Quality of Life survey agreed or strongly agreed that the type of home they lived in suits their needs and the needs of others in their household. This is up slightly from 84% in 2016, and higher than the 2018 proportion for New Zealand (81%).

Only 10% of Christchurch respondents reported that the type of home they lived in did not suit their household's needs, down slightly from 11% in 2016. Nationally, 12% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that the type of home they live in was suitable for the household's needs.

Suitability of neighbourhood

In 2018, 83% of respondents to the Quality of Life survey agreed or strongly agreed that the general area or neighbourhood their home was located in suits their needs and the needs of others in their household. This was down from 89% in 2016 and similar to the 2018 national figure of 84%.

Between 2016 and 2018, those who strongly agreed increased from 28% to 38% however those who agreed decreased from 61% to 45%.

Less than 10% of Christchurch respondents reported that their local area or neighbourhood did not suit their household's needs. Nationally, 7% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that their local area was suitable for the household's needs.