The impacts of the Canterbury earthquake on the commercial office market in Christchurch, NZ
||Sandy Bond and Zoltan Moricz
||The impacts of the Canterbury earthquake on the commercial office market in Christchurch, NZ
||19th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland
||The 22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake had a devastating impact on Christchurch property with significant damage caused to land and buildings. As at November 2011, around 530 buildings have either been demolished or identified to be demolished in central Christchurch. In addition, around 140 buildings have either been partially demolished or identified to be partially demolished. The broad aims of the research were to (i) examine the nature and extent of the CBD office relocation, (ii) determine occupier’s perceptions of the future: their location and space needs post the February earthquake, and the likelihood of relocating back to the CBD after the rebuild, and (iii) find out what occupiers see as the future of the CBD, and how they want this to look. To address these issues, an online survey was developed. Potential respondents were obtained from two sources: 275 suburban office occupier contact details obtained from a physical survey of office occupiers as of August 2011, and 368 contacts obtained from a business database held by CB Richard Ellis. With a 22% response rate, 55% of respondents were relocated CBD occupiers and 45% were existing suburban office occupiers. Results indicate that 66% of respondents have reduced their office size since the earthquakes. Half of businesses are paying less rent than before the earthquake, probably due to 45% of respondents being in poorer quality space. More than a quarter of relocated tenants have signed leases of one year or less, and 27% of businesses are now working out of residential premises. Of the businesses that relocated out of the CBD the biggest group (38%) want to return to the CBD into low-rise buildings of 3 floors or less (80%) that meet Earth Quake codes with good amenities and public transport. The speed of rebuild is important to respondents.
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