What $500,000 buys you: South

Amy Hamilton Chadwick
What $500,000 buys you: South

What will $500,000 get you in the south? After looking at listings from Whangarei to Taupo, and from there down to Nelson, we’re now finding out what a half-million-dollar budget will buy in Christchurch and the south. 

The real estate market in Christchurch has boomed in recent years, says local real estate agent Lewis Donaldson, of Harcourts Papanui: “$500,000 today will buy you the same as $350,000 would buy you 4 years ago.”

For half a million, says Donaldson, you can typically buy a 1970s, 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home on a 600m2 section in a suburb that is around 15 minutes from the centre of the city. Alternatively, you can buy a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom unit in one of Christchurch’s most desirable suburbs. Or make your budget go further, to a suburb 30 or 40 minutes’ drive from the city, and you can buy a new, compact 4-bedroom house on around 400m2

In other southern cities, local markets vary enormously. Queenstown has long been an expensive place to buy a house, and there you can purchase a smart apartment or townhouse in the centre of town for $500,000, but you’ll need to travel a little further to get a standalone house on a section. You might like to try Dunedin, where your budget will stretch to a 3-bedroom home on around 400m2 in a good suburb. 

Greymouth provides excellent value for money, and Invercargill is close on its heels; in these areas your half a million will buy you a lovely family home with plenty of space. Check out the full range of what you can buy in these regions in the $500,000 range.

SEE ALSO: What $500,000 buys you: North

Please note: Information was current at time of publishing (April 2015). As the property listings referenced have now been withdrawn, the links originally included in the article have been removed.



Central City

Buy off the plans and get a high-quality 1-bedroom corner apartment for $485,000, with views along Kilmore Street towards Hagley Park.

Raikaia Apartments are fitted out with European appliances, underfloor bathroom heating and extended private balconies. Zoned for Girls High, Boys High, Heaton Intermediate, Elmwood School, and St Marks schools.

Central city 1

Central city interior

St Albans

For an offer over $499,000, you can buy this private 2-bedroom townhouse, zoned for Christchurch Boys’ High, Christchurch Girls’ High and Heaton Normal Intermediate.

The 144m2 house features double garaging, solid build quality, renovated bathroom and a sunny patio and garden area. An affordable home in this desirable location, close to Merivale mall, transport links and parks.

St Albans 2

St Albans interior


A little under budget at $485,000, this low-maintenance 3-bedroom townhouse is in a popular street in up-and-coming Wigram.

Double glazed, with a heat-pump and an internal access garage, this home is beautifully presented.

Wigram 1

Wigram interior


This 4-bedroom, 2-level family home is on the market for $489,000. The house features a heat pump, upgraded bathroom and a study or 5th bedroom opion.

It sits on a 607m2 section, zoned for Redwood School, close to transport links and shops. CERA rated TC2, with EQC work completed.

Redwood 1

Redwood interior


North of Christchurch in Rangiora, you can buy this spacious 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home on a landscaped 649m2 section for $509,000.

An ‘executive style’ family home, it features a smart modern kitchen and bathrooms and is located close to local schools and transport links.

Rangiora 1

Rangiora interior



With stunning views across the golf course, this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit in Windwhistle is on the market for $510,000.

With gas and under-tile heating, plus double glazing and insulation, this property is close to Christchurch Airport, Mt Hutt skifield, and beautiful fishing spots.

Methven 1

Methven 2


Where else can you find 7bedrooms, 3bathrooms and just under 2,500m2 of land? For $495,000 you can buy this huge family home in the centre of Greymouth, set in a large park-like landscaped section and backed by scenic reserves.

Warm and inviting, this house is air-conditioned and includes a gas fire and gas heater and a modern kitchen.

Greymouth 1

Greymouth 2


For $495,000 you can buy a smart 2-bedroom unit off the plans on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. The 72m2 freehold unit includes a 12m2 deck and beautiful views of the lake.

Construction is about to begin, a high standard of finish is promised, and settlement will be in late 2016. 

Queenstown 1Queenstown interior


This 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom brick house in Vauxhall sits on an elevated 541m2 section and features a ground-floor workshop with adjoining office and 2utility rooms – you could work from home or rent it out. It has a heat pump, a woodburner, insulation and double glazing.

Dunedin 1Dunedin interior


A snip over budget at $515,000, this lovely 4- or 5-bedroom family home in Avenal has been completely renovated. With 3 bathrooms, radiator heating, and on a large 1,350m2 section with the potential for subdivision, this property is full of character and potential. 

Invercargill 1

Invercargill interior

SEE ALSO: What $500,000 buys you: North


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