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 per cent of household take home income was required to service a mortgage, compared with 36 per cent in June 2007. Further information.

Positive result
PositiveResult

Rental affordability

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

Mixed result
Indeterminate Result 

Households in urban development areas

The earthquakes resulted in a decrease in housing in existing residential parts of the city. Greenfield areas have continued to grow. Further information.
Mixed result
Indeterminate Result

Proportion of infill development

The proportion of new housing in existing infill areas has increased from a post-earthquake low of 27 per cent to 59 per cent. Further information.

Negative Result
Negative Result
Total amount of infill and greenfield dwelling growth

Prior to the earthquakes, the total number of new dwellings consented in greenfield and infill areas was relatively even.

By June 2018, there were 2700 additional new greenfield dwellings compared with new infill dwellings. Further information.

Snapshot

SnapshotOnly
Housing quality - problems with damp and mould 22 per cent of respondents in 2016 had problems with dampness and mould in their homes. Further information.

Snapshot

SnapshotOnly
Satisfaction with the range of housing to meet current and future needs While 21 per cent of respondents felt the range of Christchurch housing did not meet their current needs, 30 per cent felt the range of housing in Christchurch would not meet their future housing needs. 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 per cent of the household's take home income would be required to service a mortgage. Interest.co.nz considers 40 per cent 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 per cent. There was also a smaller peak of 29 per cent in 2010, however since the earthquakes the proportion of a household's take home income has ranged between 20 and 25 per cent. 

Affordability for young families is reduced, sitting at around 28 per cent 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 slightly more affordable at 19.5 per cent of take home income. 

Christchurch first home affordability is comparable with New Zealand home loan affordability rates. 

Rental affordability

Weekly rents in Christchurch peaked at the beginning of 2015, with an average rent of around $420 per week, as a result of the pressures on the rental market due to 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 give us an indication of lower priced rentals in the city, however this data does not show what is happening by size of dwelling so is likely to reflect smaller units as well as cheaper rentals. Although lower quartile rents increased after the earthquakes, they did not experience the same increase as the average dwelling, which resulted in them being 68 per cent of the average rent during this time.

Households by area of the city

The 2007 Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS) identified areas of the city with desired levels of household growth. These were the central area that included the Four Avenues and adjacent medium density areas; the existing suburban parts of the city including medium density areas around larger suburban centres; and the new greenfield areas on the periphery of the city (many were rezoned in 1999 as a result of decisions on the city Plan and subsequent rezoning from rural land).

The UDS intended different levels of growth across all these areas - unfortunately the earthquakes had a significant impact on the existing residential parts of the city, with a loss of households in these areas between the 2006 and 2013 censuses, including the residential red zone. However growth accelerated in greenfield areas, often to compensate for the loss of housing in existing parts of the city and to meet increased demand.

At 2013, greenfield areas contained 17 per cent of the city's households, while the central area had 11 per cent, with the remaining 72 per cent located within the existing suburban areas, Banks Peninsula and rural areas.

Proportion of infill development

The UDS set out to achieve 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 per cent of all residential development, averaging around 50 per cent of net new dwellings between 2000 and 2010.

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

Total amount of infill and greenfield dwelling growth

The growth in net new residential development since 2000 shows that up until 2010, infill development kept track with greenfield development. However after the earthquakes, the higher proportion of greenfield growth has resulted in a net 2700 more new dwellings being located in greenfield areas than in infill areas (at June 2018).

There has been more actual building activity within the infill areas since the earthquakes, but much of this was for the replacement of existing dwellings damaged from the earthquake. The rebuilding of these makes no difference to the long term housing stock in the city.

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 any problems with damp or mould, which are health risks. Statistics New Zealand's 2016 well-being survey(external link) found that around 50 per cent of Christchurch residents reported their houses were often or always colder than they preferred in winter.

The Quality of Life survey in 2016 also showed that around 1 in 5 households (22 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed that their homes had a problem with dampness and/or mould.

Satisfaction with the range of housing to meet current and future needs

Sixty per cent 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. 

However, 21 per cent of respondents felt that there was not a range of housing to meet their current needs. This proportion increased to 30 per cent when respondents were asked if Christchurch had a range of housing to meet their future needs.