< Back What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city? What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats? Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes? Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common? Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood? Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood? I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city? Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me? What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city? Real Estate in Christchurch has been subject to extraordinary challenges due to the earthquakes. Properties can be challenging to secure. The market is highly competitive and rental rates have increased. We recommend using the expertise, opinion and guidance of a local professional Crown Relocation Consultant to assist you in finding accommodation and homes. As with other cities in New Zealand, choosing the right place to live is essential to having a pleasant and safe stay in Christchurch. ↑ Top What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats? Merivale and Fendalton are two of the more sought-after suburbs in the city, along with Sumner and Cashmere. However, their popularity commands high housing prices. Merivale and Fendalton are established leafy suburbs situated close to the private (fee-paying) schools. Most of the streets in these areas are also in Christchurch Girls' and Christchurch Boys' High School zones.These two state schools are very popular, but children must live within the school zone to have automatic right of entry. Both suburbs are within 5 – 10 minutes' drive to the CBD. Cashmere also is an old, established leafy suburb situated on the Port Hills. Cashmere homes enjoy panoramic views over the city, the sea and the mountains. Travel into the CBD is less than 15 minutes. Sumner is a popular seaside suburb 20 minutes from the CBD. The climate is milder than in the city and Sumner's hill properties have spectacular sea, city and mountain views. The lifestyle is casual and there is a huge cafe culture, but high housing prices. Burnside and Ilam are also popular with expats. The university is situated in Ilam and Burnside High School is the most sought-after state co-ed high school. If you are interested in apartment living, there is a wide variety available in the city center, Sumner and Merivale .↑ Top Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes? Expats initially rent; the majority tend to purchase if they are staying longer than one year. This gives them time to understand the housing market. While looking for a permanent accommodation to rent or buy in Christchurch, you can opt to stay at motels, serviced apartments or even holiday houses, other than hotels. Please refer to websites below for further information. ↑ Top Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common? When renting, you are required to pay a bond equivalent to two or three weeks' rent. This is held in a Trust Account by a third party and returned at the end of the tenancy providing there is no rent owed or damages to the property. Rent is always paid in advance, usually weekly or fortnightly, and if the property is obtained through a letting agent, there is also a fee to be paid of one weeks' rent plus GST (Government Service Tax) of 15%. In summary, you could be required to have 5 weeks' rent prior to moving into a rental property: two weeks' rent in advance, two to three weeks' bond and one week to cover the letting fee. ↑ Top Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra? Utilities are usually additional to rental prices. Very seldom are they included in the rent. ↑ Top Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood? Generally, Christchurch is considered a safe city to live. There are a few suburbs that are considered less desirable and have a higher youth crime rate. ↑ Top I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city? The electric current for New Zealand is 230-240 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50 hertz of power. Plugs have two or three prongs in a triangular shape. Although adaptors are available, it is considered better to purchase small appliances on arrival. Type I plug - Oblique flat blades with ground (inverted V) ↑ Top Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me? Good rental properties are hard to find and it is advisable that transferees have a personal reference or testimonial from a previous landlord to assist in securing highly sought-after rental properties. While pets are welcome in Christchurch homes, the rental process may take longer to accommodate pet requirements. Some useful terms: Flat - a dwelling normally shared by a group of people. Apartments - several properties on shared land with secure entry to both the parking area and the accommodation block. Townhouses - several properties on shared land Units - dwellings joined to each other; normally single-storied Bach - small holiday home Bungalow/villa - older, wooden home; single story on own piece of land Cottage - small, older, wooden home ↑ Top IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.