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The ones to watch; Christchurch’s up and coming suburbs

New commercial and residential buildings have filled empty lots, and the construction of key infrastructure like the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre is drawing people and business back into the heart of the city. 

Thirteen years on from Canterbury’s 2011 earthquake, it’s easy to see major redevelopment work and regeneration taking shape. New commercial and residential buildings have filled empty lots, and the construction of key infrastructure like the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre is drawing people and business back into the heart of the city.

But the rebuild hasn’t only been about restoring old suburbs to their former glory, it’s also been about developing new ones too. Bayleys Canterbury General Manager Rachel Dovey says right now four suburbs are catching the eye of potential buyers including central city Christchurch, Mairehau, Halswell and Addington.

“If I look at them as a collective, it would be the fact that there’s so much activity post-quakes and so many new builds. We've got townhouses, we've got apartments, we've got a whole variety of different properties.”

That variety seems to be catching the eye of buyers from right around the country.

“Particularly in the last couple of years we’ll be in the auction room, and I will be on the phone with a bidder from Wellington or Auckland.”

Dovey says it’s no secret that living in some of our bigger cities has become more expensive, and as a response her team of agents are seeing more out–of-town enquiries, and people flying in for open homes.

“I think years ago we saw it with Auckland to Tauranga, you know sell up in Auckland and retire to Tauranga. Now we are seeing a lot of that here. Christchurch is a vibrant city there’s a lot of businesses and head offices in the South Island, and it’s more affordable to live here.”

That surge is what Dovey believes is giving these four suburbs a boost. So what can you expect from each of them, and how much are you likely to pay for a property there?


While the central city was one of the hardest hit locations during the earthquakes, Rachel Dovey says it’s now one of the most dynamic.

“That whole rebuild, and how that community sits, I’d say that central Christchurch is really quite an interesting place.”

Apart from being close to the inner city bars, restaurants and parks, a lot of the homes offer the opportunity to invest in new, low maintenance property.

“Sometimes when you come from different markets where you have a lot of older properties, you forget that buying new is also buying a healthy home. It's clean, there’s nothing to do for three or four years.”

“The technology's also really good, whether that’s security, fibre or modern appliances. Not everyone wants to live in a brand new home, but it’s fairly attractive” says Dovey.

There’s also the ease of transport that comes from living in the central city.

“You can bike, you can walk around the park, you're not having to run a car all the time, it really does offer quite a lifestyle.”

There’s also the allure of the upcoming stadium.

“If you live in the city, being able to go to a match or a concert or use the facilities is fantastic.”

So how much could one of those new townhouses set you back? Dovey says right now the median sale price for central city Christchurch is $649,000.

Check out the latest listings here


About a 20 minute drive from central Christchurch is Halswell. With around 553 sales in the outer city suburb over the past 12 months, it’s one of the faster growing suburbs.

“A lot of that land got opened up after the quakes, and lots of new properties were built. I think it would be the biggest growth area closer to the city” says Dovey.

Most of the properties up for sale offer three to four bedroom homes, which have been extremely popular with families despite there being limited infrastructure in the area.

“They have great infrastructure to go out to at Selwyn or into the central city, but they don’t have infrastructure like malls or big shopping hubs in Halswell.”

However, there is the potential to fill those gaps with further growth and development.

Dovey says the median sale price of $755,000 is at the higher end, because the properties are bigger and new.

Check out the latest listings here


If you’re after central city fringe, then Dovey says to look no further than Mairehau. The up and coming suburb comes with all the central city convenience, without the hustle and bustle.

“It’s a very central location for getting to lots of places, whether it’s to the city or the airport. But you also get a lot more character homes there.”

She says it’s a 15 minute drive into town, 25 minutes to the airport and is situated next to many of Christchurch’s arterial roads. But unlike some of the other suburbs, the homes up for grabs have a bit more history.

“A lot of the streets have a character overlay, a bit like Ponsonby in Auckland with all of the bungalows.”

Dovey says Mairehau has a really diverse market with a lot of three bedroom properties available to buy, which is perfect for families looking to stay central.

The median sale price currently sits at $627,500 but Dovey believes you’d be lucky to score one for that price.

“I would envision it would be quite challenging to buy in the six hundreds, it’s sort of a 700 or 800 and upwards kind of market there.”

Check out the latest listings here


Lastly Dovey says Addington offers central city living at its best, just not right in the heart of Christchurch.

“I think it’s quite cute, but it’s also got a bit of an edge. It’s got some cool bars, you go there if you’re going to the rugby, it's got great cafes and it’s just super close to the city.”

There’s an eclectic mix of homeowners with a lot of first home buyers and townhouses being built there.

“It’s kind of a micro-trendy little area. Our Bayleys office is just on Hagley Park, and Addington is just out the window.”

“If you’re a walker or a runner, or a nurse or doctor at the hospital, it’s a great location to get into the centre of Hagley park, and into some of those businesses.”

Dovey says right now the median sale price for a home in Addington is $542,500.

Check out the latest listings here

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