The Christchurch area in New Zealand (NZ) experienced two significant earthquakes on September 4th, 2010 (7.1R) and February 22nd, 2011 (6.3R) with a devastating impact to both houses and land. Negative media attention to the potential financial risks of living near or on the new Technical Category 3 (TC3) land or on land in a flood zone has fuelled the perception of uncertainty over the negative property value impacts. However, the extent to which such attitudes are reflected in lower property values affected by these land categories is controversial.

This paper outlines research to identify attitude changes based on the sale price patterns as well as the relationship between sale prices and house characteristics before and after both of the earthquakes. We take a three-step approach by applying: a) an average trend analysis, b) GIS hot-spot analysis to identify possible spatial differentiations between the before and after effects of the earthquakes and, c) hedonic modeling to quantify the effect of house characteristics on sale price while controlling for and comparing, three land zones (TC1 to TC3).

The data suggests that average sale prices increased after both quakes in TC1 and TC2 rather than TC3 zones. GIS hot-spot results on house valuations provide evidence of limited differentiations after the two earthquakes compared to the before trends for Christchurch. In contrast, differentiations exist after the second earthquake in Selwyn for one of the TC1 zones as well as for a TC2 zone of the Waimakariri district after both earthquakes. The econometric modeling suggests that higher sale prices are achieved by: newer houses across all land zones and more recent sale agreements only in TC1 and TC2 zones. Other observations include the negative effect of exterior façade material such as fibrolite on sale prices on the overall dataset as well as the individual TC1 and TC3 zone, while mixture and roughcast have a positive effect. The roofing materials explored tend to have a diverse rather than a homogenous effect on sale prices. In conclusion, the results suggest that although caution might exist for the TC3 zone the quality of the house can overcome the media stigma attached to the TC3 zones.