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Home ownership and renting

Home ownership continues to fall in greater Christchurch

At the 2013 Census, 67.9 percent of households in greater Christchurch owned their home or held it in a family trust, down from 69.7 percent in 2006. Nationally, 64.4 percent of households owned their home or held it in a family trust in 2013, down from 66.5 percent in 2006.

In 2013, the proportions of greater Christchurch households that owned their home or held it in a family trust were:

  • Christchurch city – 64.8 percent
  • Waimakariri district – 80.3 percent
  • Selwyn district – 78.5 percent.

In 2006, the proportions of greater Christchurch households that owned their home or held it in a family trust were:

  • Christchurch city – 67.6 percent
  • Waimakariri district – 81.2 percent
  • Selwyn district – 78.7 percent.

The percentage of households who owned or partly owned their home in greater Christchurch, with or without a mortgage, dropped to 54.6 percent in 2013 – down from 59.5 percent in 2006. Nationally, the percentage of households who owned their home dropped to 49.9 percent in 2013 – down from 54.5 percent in 2006.

In greater Christchurch, 44,532 households rented their home.

The areas in greater Christchurch with the highest percentage of households that did not own their dwelling were:

  • Burnham Military Camp – 98.4 percent
  • Cathedral Square (in central Christchurch) – 81.3 percent
  • Riccarton West (near the University of Canterbury) – 77.3 percent
  • Avon Loop (also in central Christchurch) – 75.7 percent.
Selected area units with the highest proportion of dwellings not owned by residents (and not in a family trust)
For greater Christchurch households in occupied private dwellings
2013 Census
Area unit Percent of dwellings not owned
Burnham Military Camp 98.4
Cathedral Square 81.3
Riccarton West 77.3
Avon Loop 75.7
Riccarton South 72.7
Linwood 71.5
Riccarton 71.2
Waltham 69.1
Richmond South 68.2
Source: Statistics New Zealand

High increase in rent for five-bedroom dwellings

The largest increase in median rent in greater Christchurch was for five-bedroom dwellings, at $500 in 2013 compared with $340 in 2006. This was a 47.1 percent increase – higher than in Auckland (35.0 percent), Wellington area (30.0 percent), and New Zealand as a whole (9.4 percent).

Median weekly rents in greater Christchurch, in both 2006 and 2013, were:

  • Christchurch city – $300 (2013), $220 (2006)
  • Waimakariri district – $290 (2013), $200 (2006)
  • Selwyn district – $280 (2013), $160 (2006).

The median weekly rent in 2013 in greater Christchurch was $300. This was the same as in the Wellington area but lower than in Auckland ($350).

In 2013, 504 fewer households were renting one-bedroom dwellings than in 2006. In 2013, 4,620 one-bedroom dwellings were being rented in Christchurch city, compared with 5,124 in 2006.

The smallest increase in median weekly rent between 2006 and 2013 in greater Christchurch was for three-bedroom rentals – up 32.0 percent to $330, from $250 in 2006.

Graph, median weekly rent by number of bedrooms, for households in occupied private dwellings, 2013 Census.

High rent increases for one-family households in Christchurch city

Nearly 3 out of 5 households (23,412) renting in Christchurch city in 2013 were one-family households, and 1 out of 4 (9,792) were one-person households.

The median weekly rent paid by one-family households in Christchurch city was $320 in 2013 – up 39.1 percent since 2006. This was more than the increase for New Zealand as a whole (up 30.4 percent), for Auckland (up 32.1 percent), and for the Wellington area (up 34.8 percent).

The median weekly rent paid by other multi-person households (such as unrelated people flatting together) in Christchurch city increased 34.6 percent between 2006 ($260) and 2013 ($350). This was more than the increase for Auckland (up 17.6 percent), the Wellington area (up 30.3 percent) and New Zealand as a whole (up 25.0 percent).

The more recent the tenancy, the higher the rent

The graph below shows that in greater Christchurch, as in New Zealand overall, median weekly rent was higher for households who had lived at their usual residence for two years or less.

The difference in median rent between these households and other renting households in greater Christchurch was $20 per week. This was the same difference as in the Wellington area and New Zealand overall, and a similar difference to Auckland ($15 per week).

Graph, median weekly rent by years at usual residence, for households in occupied private dwellings, 2013 Census.

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