Moving back to Chch.yes/no

I left chch April 2011 as no longer had a house and 7 year old son was terrified of aftershocks. We moved overseas but miss NZ terribly. Christchurch is our preferred destination due to good networks of family and friends. Is it still a broken city with a heart or are people still leaving and struggling?

southern-belle, Jul 15, 3:54 am

Also has the rental market eased . good credit no pets and non smokers?

southern-belle, Jul 15, 3:57 am

We have still been having some aftershocks. Just small ones though.

Houses are more expensive to rent than 9 years ago but maybe not too bad if you only want a small house maybe? Have a look on trademe property section to get an idea.

tygertung, Jul 15, 6:05 am

Ch Ch CBD and alot of the Eastern suburbs are still struggling, but people are settling back into things, depending on where you want to be, North of ch ch is busy and bustling, Rangiora expanding at a rapid rate.
Not sure about rent prices, you would just have to keep an eye on RE agents and TM etc.

dogbond, Jul 15, 7:16 am

Rents have certainly peaked and are now coming down slightly. There will always be stories in the media about people struggling to find houses but generally these people are somewhat undesirable as tenants. Where do you plan on living, Rangiora and Rolleston are booming.

ryanm2, Jul 15, 7:26 am

The west has double the traffic and crazy congestion. There are rebuilds going on everywhere still. The East has way less traffic and roads are still not fixed.

The beach is still beautiful. The wildlife is abundant. The skies are still blue.

gaspodetwd, Jul 15, 7:45 am

Rentals have definitely eased back. It will take years for the CBD to be fully rebuilt but buildings are being built incredibly quickly.

Tonnes of jobs and opportunities as well, its a great place to live

jon9, Jul 15, 8:14 am

We are still not back in our rebuilt home after all this time and there are those who are still waiting to find out if they are a repair or a rebuild. The city is slowly getting itself back together but in all honesty it will be many years before it is back to normal. Rents are still extremely high but not as high as they were at the peak of things. The roads are being repaired all the time but in some areas, particularly on the eastern side of town it can and does look like a lunar landscape. However there are large tracts along the New Brighton road which have been turned into grassed open spaces with the retention of existing trees and shrubs, where once the houses stood. We are still experiencing the odd aftershock though none of them severe. The central city, which is where I live still has a huge way to go and the cathedral is still as it was after the quakes. In summation there has been a big social upheaval as one would expect after such an event but we are a resilient bunch and are just getting on with it. Life goes on.

janbodean, Jul 15, 8:22 am

We left Chch in Sept 2011 - as we didn't feel there was a future for me and my wife there. we both lost our jobs and we figured it would be a good 10 years plus before Chch becomes a great city again
there's too much red tape holding up things.
look at the Cathedral for example - it's stuffed, yet there are a precious few who are trying to keep it.
there are jobs in Chch, but rental housing is scarce - we had friends who in Feb 2011 were paying $220 a week for a 2 bedroom place, but now that place has been fixed up and is being rented for $390, so you can't say the rent is the same as before
I am personally terrified of earthquakes and aftershocks and I am worried that there 'might' be another big one in Chch so I will never move back unfortunately.

muffin2, Jul 15, 11:52 am

I don't think there is any reason to feel that we will get another 'big one' - that could happen anywhere in NZ. I do think the heart of the city is still broken and will take a long time to heal, but there is resilience here. We need good people back in Chch, I think we got left with an over abundance of beneficiaries (sorry if you are one, no insult intended), and as a result have an over abundance of immigrants (again no insult intended - I am one myself). Rents are very high though - although I think if you are good tenants that the time is right to start bartering for a lower rent. Landlords know they have never had it so good and that the bubble is starting to deflate, not quite ready to go pop yet., Jul 15, 12:07 pm

We came at the end of 2011 and still love it. Schools here are great, plenty of opportunity, lots of free stuff to do through the year. I think its much harder for people who loved the place as it was before and can't help but compare. We only passed through before and some places are looking better now than they did then. Rents are crazy though but I agree with above poster, it may be nearing a time when landlords start appreciating a good tenant.

tomber, Jul 15, 12:48 pm

At the end of the day the decision is yours. A good reason as you said is that you have good networks of family and friends - that is a plus and is hard hard to get. IMO, you need to weigh up the pros and cons. If circumstances were different I would have moved on.

suka, Jul 15, 12:53 pm

I think you're absolutely right about it being harder for people who loved the place as it was before. I count myself as one of these.

aphra1, Jul 15, 12:55 pm

Yes you are right about comparisons, Rangiora is booming, but I hate it now. Traffic is a nightmare, even though some work is beginning to be done to ease it, coming in from CHCH after work is tailgating traffic right down lineside Road. Rentals are scarce and expensive, jobs are scarce because of the burgeoning population. Hopefully Pak n Save may ease that, and Farmers next year.
I hate all the reminders, I hate the crowds, I am not a city person, and Rangiora is like the city now. But we are tied with jobs and schools, and family.
We have to take frequent trips to the Hospital with hubbies chronic illness and that in itself is depressing.
But as someone said the birds still sing the sky is still blue, and we still only live one day at a time

stillwaters, Jul 15, 1:54 pm

Dead right.

I now suspect Christchurch would be one of the safest places in the NZ in the event of future shakes - all our fragile buildings, even those not so fragile - have been demolished.

xxsaffyxx, Jul 15, 1:56 pm

Yeah, will easily be the most seismic-resilient city in NZ, with buildings like this going up with stupid amounts of stupidly sized steel on a stupidly thick concrete pad:

lugee, Jul 15, 2:09 pm

why don't you come back for a couple of weeks holiday and see for yourself, lot of negative quotes i am reading, i have hardly felt a shake for so long now, doesn't even worry me. I wouldn't move for anything, facing it all is probably a better way to come to terms of what happened, as to running away, as you still hold that fear, i am on eastside of CBD and love walking in to CBD and seeing all the new building, a lot gone up, and a lot also to do, but really interesting. We went to a show not long ago and this comedian was such a hard case, he said he couln't believe going to a restaurant about a year ago their was a shake and he froze but Cantabarians just held their wine glasses so they don't spill and carried on as nothing happened, so we do move on and i think you need to come back for a holiday and see for yourself

kids4ever, Jul 15, 2:55 pm

I feel that now is actually the best time to get out of chc. Once the rebuild passes its peak, there is going to be a horrible decline in all business activity.
There is a real risk of chc becoming a depressed place.

melonhead1, Jul 15, 3:30 pm

You are right about Rangiora and I never imagined the day would come when we would have traffic lights, let alone two lots of them. I won't retire into that 'city' now, far too busy so when I eventually sell I'll move further north.

kacy5, Jul 15, 4:25 pm

I personally believe chch will become a very nice place to live once we have the CBD back up and running - say 5-8 yrs. My kids are teens and it will be perfect for them for when they want to settle down. No-one can realistically own a house in Auckland so more people will look to chch to settle. Rentals eased - our investment rental was rented at $375, now more like $320 now. I must admit I never used the city or the nightlife much before so not effecting me now. The young ones are looking forward to an exciting new city!

jane310567, Jul 15, 4:29 pm

Yea a decline in business activity with over 50,000 workers moving to the CBD not to mention the thousands of square metres of Restaurant/Entertainment and retail space being built right now.

I mean obviously its all going to be empty and nobody will be around. Why do you think people are spending Millions in the city if "there is going to be a horrible decline in all business activity."

smh seriously.

jon9, Jul 15, 4:49 pm

I hope that is the case because it would mean the people remaining will get to enjoy a brand new city & we'll have it all to ourselves without people pilling into the city on mass. This will not be the case no doubt & the city will boom. I coulden't care either way though personally.

steve198, Jul 15, 4:56 pm

Thanks everybody it is very helpful. Ihave been living in Auckland and now the Uk so the Chch rents look ok.

southern-belle, Jul 15, 4:59 pm

An over abundance of beneficiaries and immigrants? Where on earth did you get the stats to make that statement? It also implies that beneficiaries and immigrants are not good people as obviously according to you we need good people that are not in this category to come back here.

moodybleu, Jul 15, 5:12 pm

I don't like living in ChCh anymore but am stuck here with unresolved EQC/Insurance issues on our property. Am probably having to head to court to get proper repairs/compensation and this may take years still! I really miss having a "town centre" and driving around is stressful due to ongoing repairs/congestion. Personally, if I had been able to get out of Christchurch, I would not consider returning, it is still a very broken city! I know my feelings are negative but to me living here is a struggle. When I have gotten away for a few days I feel more energised and optimistic; upon returning I feel down and stressed. Everyone will have differing opinions but I think the suggestion to come and see for yourself firsthand before deciding is wise. Good luck with your plans :-)

ronash, Jul 15, 5:21 pm

The CBD is still a bomb site but there are new things popping up all the time which is interesting. Road works are a real pain in the proverbial but that must start getting better soon. Some areas are largely unaffected, it depends where you choose to rent or can afford to buy. Many houses are now further out of town to the west or north and so commuting times have increased for many. After shocks aren't an issue and we will be in a better position ( because of better building / foundation standards) if the alpine fault goes. I would never leave because of family and because I know in 5-10yrs time ,Christchurch will be better than ever.

supra_luva, Jul 15, 5:26 pm

If you want to leave the city bad enough you will find a way.

steve198, Jul 15, 5:34 pm

Well all I can say is that if circumstances were different for me I would be out of here like a shot. I try and avoid the CBD as much as possible as I find it an extremely depressing place, but some people seem to be satisfied with it so it all comes down to the individual I guess.

puddles11, Jul 15, 5:34 pm

My experience after the earthquakes was that many friends who were in a financial position to leave did so. Some to Australia (where our beneficiaries can't get benefit so cannot leave NZ if they are genuine beneficiaries), some went to other cities, including 2 of my own children - one to Wellington and one to Australia. Because we lost a lot of self employed tradesman in the year after the earthquakes (as there was not actually much building work being done at that time) we have had to 'import' workmen from everywhere, I have friends from Ireland, South African and American who all came here because their husbands were able to get work here as we do not have sufficient 'home grown' talent.
I was not being derogatory about either party. Just saying. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill., Jul 15, 5:56 pm

sorry but i don't agree with you

kids4ever, Jul 15, 6:12 pm

it is only a depressing place if you make it that way, not for my husband and i, we get out there and enjoy get the buses on occassions and you can see more, so much to see, think positive or you will be depressed not the city, just my views

kids4ever, Jul 15, 6:20 pm

I have been able to mitigate the traffic issues by riding my bicycle most of the time for transport. Eases the problems of roadworks, traffic jams and closed roads.

tygertung, Jul 15, 6:38 pm

Great feedback thanks

southern-belle, Jul 15, 7:27 pm

kis4ever - i agree its what you make of it. If you go out and about - the markets, the beach, the art displays etc then its up to you to enjoy yourself. We find there is always something on and are never bored. We love the quietness too and the low population so would prefer it didn't become another big city! If we change anything it would be the easterlies!
We have lived in Aussie for a few years and wellington for another few. You can find things to enjoy in most places you live. Life's too short to moan about your city - move and try something different if you can!

jane310567, Jan 2, 4:12 am

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