Disasters often reinforce inequality: those with higher income recover faster than those who had few resources to tide them through the crisis.
So when one cares about inequality, as I do, what goes on in somewhere like Christchurch matters deeply. One way that inequality manifests there is in housing. The worst affected are those reliant on rented housing, in a market where rents have increased a staggering 44% since the earthquake. (That’s unadulterated supply and demand for you.)
In 2011, as you would expect, rents in Christchurch weren’t that high: around $300 a week was the average rent, as opposed to $400 a week in Auckland.
But according to Cera predictions in the document below, in just eight months’ time, in January 2015, rents in Christchurch will have hit the same level as in Auckland: around $460 a week on average.
If that happens, it will be a further blow to those already trying to patch life together in the most difficult of circumstances.