Opinion: Equilibrium reached in rental cost

PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

One of the first things I did as Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration was commit to keeping the community as up-to-date as possible on the regeneration process.

As Minister, I’m provided a great deal of data about how the regeneration is progressing. The information comes from a variety of sources and covers every aspect of life in greater Christchurch, including housing, employment, education, wellbeing and infrastructure.

I want to ensure this data is readily available so we all know where we’re making progress, and in some case, where we’re falling short. The 2010 and 2011 quakes altered our path forever, so we’re not always going to align with what’s happening in other regions, or even nationally.

The first data snapshot Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Housing was released over the weekend and features average house price and weekly rental cost data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

It shows the average weekly rental cost dropped from $400 in April 2016 to $386 in April 2017. At its peak, the average weekly rental cost rose to $437 post-earthquake.

The data indicates we’re reaching an equilibrium in terms of supply and demand.

We’ve seen new developments, particularly in Selwyn and Waimakariri, come to fruition, Housing NZ has successfully repaired more than 5000 quake-damaged homes and built 700 new ones, and the private residential rebuild is also progressing, with the latest Insurance Council of New Zealand data showing 95 per cent of all residential property claims have been settled.

Data is an incredibly important resource that can help us make better decisions for the future of Christchurch. The overall picture is big and complex but this series of snapshots will help make things clearer in the coming weeks and months.

I also intend to release a quarterly report containing comprehensive economic and social data about greater Christchurch. This will be a significant report that further ensures we’re accurately and transparently tracking the regeneration process.

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