Christchurch losing reputation as affordable housing city as prices soar

Christchurch is losing its reputation as one of the only major cities with affordable homes as house prices there continue to soar.

The garden city and Queenstown took the top spots for the most growth in main centres according to the latest house price data.

Pre-lockdown, an entry-level house in Sumner might have started at the $600,000 mark. But now a two-bedder just sold for $1.4 million.

"For this home here we had in excess of 100 groups of people through and I know other agents reporting really high numbers, anything up to 170," Michelle Ward from Harcourts Sumner says.

Christchurch - the ever-affordable city - is fast becoming the 'out of reach' city for many.

"It is the last bastion of affordable housing in the major cities in New Zealand," says QV general manager David Nagel. "[This is] the first time Christchurch has cracked the $700,000 mark."

Quotable Value's latest house price index report shows the rate of house price growth is still on the up.

"The key driver of the market is the lack of supply,  there's just not enough stock on the market. Listings are down," Nagel says.

House prices are on the up nationwide but the biggest increases have been in the South Island.

Christchurch had 7.7 percent growth, with the average house costing $702,215. Queenstown Lakes District was up more - 9.4 percent in value, with an average house price of $1,517,699.

It's frustrating for people like Christchurch resident Julie Baker who's hoping her children can secure their own homes.

"I've got two daughters that are both looking for somewhere to buy. The banks told them [they] can have a certain amount of money to buy and when they get to the auction it's way out of reach," she says.

A word of advice.

"All I can say is get in there quick and don't dilly-dally," Ward says.

Because despite a recent rise in the official cash rate, house prices aren't expected to slow any time soon.