Measuring the impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes on the residential property market.

Lincoln University are conducting an on-line survey to see how prospective home buyers view the risk associated with land zoning (TC1, TC2, TC3) and the likelihood of flooding, how this affects the price they are willing to pay, areas prospective buyers prefer, and construction preferences. The survey, Residents’ perceptions relating to residential property in Canterbury post the earthquakes is open to all who want to participate and starts here. The survey is for both homeowners and renters. A few questions are detailed however you can leave a question unanswered if you wish. Some questions were unclear when I did it, so left them blank. The following introductory information is from the Lincoln website.

Professor Sandy Bond from Lincoln University is currently conducting research to investigate householders’ perceptions towards the impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes on the residential property market. The 22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake had a devastating impact on Christchurch property with the significant damage caused to land and buildings. As at July 2012, 7541 properties have been zoned Red, including 406 properties in the Port Hills – that is, the land damage was so severe that it is uneconomic to be repaired and will not be able to be rebuilt on. The overall impact on the residential property market has been dramatic with the initial number of sales stalling due in part to difficulty getting access to insurance and mortgage finance.


Cape Argus article on the Red Zone

Courtesy of Mike Coleman here is a link to an article recently published in a South African newspaper, the Cape Argus, on some aspects of life in the Residential Red Zone. The article is entitled: Quakes expose fissures in society (here). 

From Mike’s e-mail:

“Here is Peter Bills article on the Red Zone.

He is a European correspondent who talked to a variety of people including myself about the implications of the Govt moving 6000 people off their land.

It is a very well written article and while he has a few facts not quite right he has captured the heart of how people are feeling.

It is sad… the paper he wrote this for would not publish it as it was too hard for their readers to hear!!”

It doesn’t make for happy reading yet is the reality for some, a reality that doesn’t seem to enter the consciousness of the many who are not directly affected. In some instances a reality that is best hidden from the outside world for fear that past ineptitude or worse may be uncovered?

Gambling machine and brothel bylaw changes

The Council has announced that it is looking at the bylaws covering gambling machines and brothels.

Whatever comes out of these reviews, and any temporary permissions that may be issued, will influence the way the new city and greater Christchurch will operate at both a business and social level.

Gaming Venues Policy 2009

The CCC is considering a review of the bylaws regarding gambling machines, as there have been approaches from those who run these businesses for favourable consideration to allow them to relocate from damaged premises (currently not permitted under council bylaws).

The Council’s Gambling Venues Policy was last reviewed in 2009 and is a “sinking lid” policy.  It aims to progressively reduce the opportunities for class 4 gambling (Gambling on Non-Casino Gaming (pokie) Machines (NCGM) is class 4 gambling) in Christchurch by attrition.  It does not allow any increase in class 4 venues or class 4 machine numbers, except in a specific circumstance where two or more corporate societies are merging.

The Policy was due to be reviewed by the end of August 2012;  however, with the closure of 30 gambling venues and following a discussion with stakeholders, the Council decided to look at the possible actions it might take in relation to the current Gambling Venues Policy.

The September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes affected 36 gambling venues in the city.  Eleven of these were destroyed and 19 badly damaged.  Six venues have reopened. Fourteen separate trusts are involved in the operations of these affected venues.

A number of venue operators had indicated they were interested in relocating, where venues have been seriously damaged by the earthquakes.  The current Policy does not allow venues or machines to be relocated.

The Council has agreed that the current Gambling Venue Policy should remain in place until it has been reviewed. Staff are to review the Policy and report back on the review to Council by the end of February 2012.

Currently there is a sinking lid policy on licensed gambling premises and it is intended this remain until the review is carried out in February 2012. Even with the involuntary reduction of gambling machines as a result of earthquake damage, Christchurch still has the highest number of machines per thousand head of population aged 15 and over.

There is no indication of the extent, if any, of public consultation to be carried out. The media release is here.


Brothel bylaws do not provide the CCC with sufficient control over larger brothels that may wish to relocate temporarily or permanently into the suburbs. Consequently the council is looking at a new bylaw to give it more control.

Christchurch City Council is proposing the development of a new bylaw to address any potential issues with the possible re-location of brothels and accompanying signage advertising commercial sexual services.

Developing a bylaw to regulate the location of brothels would provide more controls on where brothels can set up business and help address signage that may cause a nuisance or serious offence to members of the public; or is incompatible with the existing character or use of the area in which the land is situated

Formal consultation with the community is expected to begin in the New Year. See here.

Red Zones and rateable value

Today’s Sunday Star Times has an article Offer to red zone owners a ‘disgrace’ by Lois Cairns.

The last part of the article covers the accuracy of rating valuations and retired valuer Roger Hallinan, who spent 40 years of his life valuing properties in Christchurch, is quoted as saying:

… rating valuations are easy to get wrong because they don’t involve on-site inspections and are often determined by computer modelling. “It’s recognised in the industry that mass-appraisal computer techniques employed by rating valuation companies can cause distortions and vary between being high and below the market,” he said.

A very interesting article, especially if you feel the value attributed to your land is unrealistically low. Its in the newspaper today, or online at the Press here.

EQC response to questions from CCC

The CCC has added more to its web page Answers to questions raised at recent Council community meetings.

The CCC put a number of unspecified questions to both the EQC and the Insurance Council of New Zealand. There is no sign of a response from from ICNZ however EQC provided a large response which is available for download from the CCC here.

Topics covered are:

EQC Insurance

  • EQC Cover
  • EQC’s role and responsibilities

Canterbury Earthquake Claims Management

  • Claim Deadlines
  • Claim targets
  • Claims management for the Canterbury Earthquake (General)
  • Claims Management for the Canterbury Earthquake (Detailed)##
  • Priorities
  • EQC Contacts
  • EQC Agents
  • EQC Community Engagement
  • Future Insurance Cover

## This information will be the next item posted on this blog

Land Remediation

  • Relevant parties in the land remediation process
  • Land remediation for zones A, B, and C
  • Zone A
  • Zone B
  • Zone C
  • Process for land remediation
  • Land remediation costs
  • Impact on land property values
  • House damage of less then $100,000 + GST with land damage
  • House damage over $100,000 + GST with land damage

Repairs and Rebuilding

  • Process for rebuilding and repairs
  • Timing of building repairs when land remediation needs to occur
  • PMO role and responsibilities
  • Managing your own repairs
  • Temporary accommodation while repairs/remediation takes place
  • Reimbursements for making homes habitable and/or weatherproof i.e. emergency repairs
  • Options concerning chimney replacement
  • Overcharging
  • Transferring assets between properties +++
  • Ability to rebuild to a different specification
  • Demolition of buildings

+++ Note: This bit is important to avoid getting into legal strife.