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Christchurch Commercial rents to skyrocket

Commercial rents in Christchurch's CBD are expected to increase by 25 per cent when the city's rebuild is complete.

Graham Matthews, a director at Hampton Jones Property Consultancy and a former consultant for the body overseeing the rebuild, Cera, said the city previously had a range of tenants and commercial properties for lease - banks in A-grade buildings through to niche retailers in D-grade buildings with lower rents - but when starting a city centre from scratch, those cheaper buildings would not be present.

He and Colliers’ spokesman Alan McMahon estimated that rents would increase from $300 per sq m a year in 2010 to $400.

A survey of businesses by Recover Canterbury found it was a key concern. "We're worried about it," operations manager Bridget Frame told the Herald on Sunday. "We've lost that cheap, old building stock."

Matthews suggested businesses could get around the problem by using their space more efficiently

Previously, Christchurch had a ratio of about one person per 20 sq m in key commercial areas, which was high by global standards.

He said if those businesses used less space, they would be able to keep their rental costs the same.

Tags: graham matthews - alan mcmahon - bridget frame


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