Quake offers to be based on 2007 valuations

10:08 pm on 23 June 2011

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says it is unlikely there will be much variation from the 2007 property valuations the Government will use as the basis for offers to buy red-zoned homes in Christchurch.

Mr Brownlee says the Government has done a lot of work figuring out what would be a reasonable value.

He says property values across New Zealand have fallen since 2007 but there will be an opportunity for people who have improved their properties since 2007 to discuss the final valuation.

Seems fair - lawyer

Linwood Law partner Peter Richardson says the payout the Government is offering owners of red-zoned homes seems to be fair for most.

Mr Richardson says he would be surprised if many properties are worth significantly more than the 2007 valuation on which the Crown offer is based, because those valuations came out at the height of the property boom.

He told Checkpoint otherwise people can take the land value offer and then negotiate with their insurer about the house itself.

Don't rush, advises Cancern

The chair of a body that represents Canterbury people with earthquake-damaged homes has welcomed the Government's announcement. However, Cancern chairman Tom McBrearty is urging people to take time to think about their decision.

"It's how we negotiate the mine fields of other issues, like the emotional issues of having to say goodbye to properties and start all over again, but in terms of the financial package I think most people would agree it's above and beyond quite a few expectations," he told Afternoons.

However, the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce says the Government's plan to buy the worst affected insured properties leaves some businesses with a lot of questions.

Its head, Peter Townsend, says that will leave several hundred businesses stranded in areas without residents, which will be particularly disruptive for location-specific businesses.

Sadness in affected suburbs

People in the suburbs of Avonside and Dallington say they are not surprised at the decision, but confirmation they will have to move was still sad to hear.

Mostly they were relatively comfortable with the options offered but were waiting for further details.

An 81-year-old woman in Dallington says she is concerned that the low valuation on her home of 58 years will not allow her to buy a new house.

A number of people say they will have to increase the value of their mortgages to get a similar value home to the one they have to abandon.

Angela Wasley, who is part of the Action for Christchurch East group, says she is likely to lose money on her Avonside home.

Many home-owners in Bexley say they are no more certain about their future despite the announcement condemning their houses.

They say their individual circumstances do not easily fit with the Government's offer to buy them out.