Skip to content

Canterbury housing market remains resilient despite downturn


The Canterbury region’s housing market continues to largely withstand a downturn that has seen home values fall by an average of 6% nationally this year.

Despite rising interest rates, credit constraints, and inflationary pressures, residential property values remain relatively steady across the wider region at an average of 0.1% growth since the start of the calendar year — a stark contrast to the Auckland and Wellington regions, where values have fallen by 7.7% and 11.6% respectively.

Canterbury also remains one of just two regions across New Zealand to record net positive home value growth over the first seven months of 2022, alongside the West Coast, with six districts in the top 10 nationally — including Kaikoura (8.5%), Mackenzie (7.5%), Waitaki (6.2%), Ashburton (6.1%), Hurunui (5.7%), and Waimate (4.8%).

Meanwhile, Timaru sits just outside the top 10 with 4.5% average home value growth this calendar year. Home values are also up by an average of 0.9% in Waimakariri since 1 January, up 1.2% in Selwyn District and down by the same percentage in Christchurch.

Local Quotable Value (QV) property consultant Olivia Brownie commented: “While the local property market has certainly fared better than many others around the country to date, we’re still seeing a pronounced slow down compared to the boom of the last couple of years. This has largely been caused by rising interest rates, credit constraints, and inflation.

“Despite these economic headwinds, homes continue to largely retain their value across the wider region due to their relative affordability, with people priced out of Christchurch and other areas of the country still looking to move here. As a result, quality houses continue to sell at good prices — albeit not at the same rapid pace or volume as the last couple of years.”

She said more established buyers upgrading or downsizing their homes were also having a stabilising effect on house prices. “These people are likely less affected by borrowing restrictions, so they’re able to stay active in the market, buying and selling their homes, even as investors and first-home buyers are forced to take pause.”

“I think the wider region also has the added benefit of a strong labour market, making the housing market not as reactive to the downturn that we’re seeing elsewhere,” Miss Brownie added.

The latest QV House Price Index showed home values decreased by 4.9% nationally over the three-month period to the end of July — an increase from the 3.4% reduction reported back in June. Hurunui, Mackenzie, Ashburton, and Waitaki were four of just nine districts nationwide that did not record declining home values in the latest quarter.

QV operations manager Paul McCorry said the market would likely continue on its downward trajectory nationally over the next three months after the Reserve Bank hiked the official cash rate by 50 basis points to 3% on Wednesday. “Any further increases will only fan the flames of this correction further,” he said.