Buying guide

The best suburbs in Christchurch to buy: Ilam

Interested in Ilam?

Last updated: 28 May 2024

Continuing our journey through the most popular suburbs in Christchurch to buy homes, we find ourselves in leafy Ilam, on the western flank of the city centre.

We’ve been exploring the best suburbs in Christchurch to buy due to the Garden City’s increasing popularity for property purchasers, reflected in its rising house prices. Our April Property Price Index, showed that Christchurch city property prices had increased 4% year-on-year, reaching an average asking price of $711,450 in March 2024.

When you’re looking to buy a new home, particularly if you aren’t overly familiar with a city, it’s important to understand what life would be like living there. This isn’t only important for your enjoyment of your surroundings, but also for the future value of your home. Proximity to amenities like employment hubs, green spaces and schools are all known to impact the value of a property , so knowing what different suburbs offer has a financial motivation too.

So, if you’re thinking about buying a home in Christchurch, we want you to have the key information to decide which suburb is best for you. With that in mind, let’s immerse ourselves in Ilam.

Ilam, Christchurch: key info

Right next door to Fendalton, Ilam is often associated with students, due to the presence of the University of Canterbury, however its residents would tell you that it’s much more than a student suburb.

Speaking of its residents, Ilam is home to a population of approximately 9,930 people as of the June 2023 census, with a population density of 2,947 people per square kilometre.

So far in 2024, Ilam has been the fourth most searched Christchurch city suburb by Trade Me Property users, and the Ilam’s average property price is $883,900, according to our most recent data.

Easy access to Christchurch airport is one of the benefits of living in Ilam.

Why do people want to buy in Ilam, Christchurch?

1. The University of Canterbury

We’ve already mentioned the University of Canterbury, which has its main campus in Ilam . As well as providing an employment hub, and an obvious tertiary education option for local students who don’t want to move away, the presence of the uni has a host of benefits for the community at large. These include a fantastic bookshop, a variety of eateries and cafes that are open to anyone, and free public lectures for those fancying a high brow evening activity.

2. Proximity to the CBD and the airport

For those heading from Ilam to Christchurch CBD for work, the commute is very straightforward. If you’re driving , the average Monday morning commute will be roughly 10 - 20 minutes, while public transport will take an approximate 20 - 25 minutes. A single bus (the Number 3) will take you from central Ilam to the Christchurch Riverside Market in the city. If you’re one of Christchurch’s many keen cyclists, you should expect the same journey to take just over 20 minutes.

Ilam is similarly handy for those jetting off from Christchurch International Airport for work or play. Ilam is only five kilometres from the airport, meaning that an average Uber ride there will also be in the order of 10 - 20 minutes, while public transport will get you there in around 20 minutes.

3. Education options

Looking for good schooling options for the kids (or potential future kids)? Ilam won’t disappoint you. The suburb and its surrounds boast a great range of educational institutions for kids who aren’t yet at the age where they might be downloading the University of Canterbury prospectus. These include

  • Ilam School
  • Burnside Primary School
  • Burnside High School: Te Kura o Waimairi-iri
  • Wairakei School
  • Avonhead Primary School
  • Medbury School
  • Westburn School
  • Kidsfirst Kindergartens Ilam
  • Ilam Early Learning Centre

4. Culture and nature

As a resident of Ilam, you don’t have to leave your suburb to experience both interesting nature and culture. In fact, you can find both in the same place at the historic Ilam Homestead and Gardens.

Situated next to the picturesque Ilam Stream, Ilam Homestead is today a venue for weddings and corporate functions, but you can also go for a tour around its famous protected rhododendron and azalea garden, or just sit and enjoy the calm ambiance.

And this isn’t the only green space in Islam. The suburb is also home to Ray Blank Park and Playground, a favourite for families and it also hosts events such as Culture Galore: a vibrant multicultural event showcasing the rich diversity of Ōtautahi Christchurch with an array of food, arts and crafts, lively music and dance performances.

5. Health facilities

Access to health facilities isn’t important until it is. And even if it’s not an emergency, having these amenities close at hand makes life just that little bit easier.

Ilam is well served when it comes to health facilities, containing both the Waimairi Road Medical Center and the Ilam Dental Centre, meaning you’ll never have to go far for a check-up!

Looking to buy a home in Ilam?
Check out the wide range of Ilam houses for sale on Trade Me Property.
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Al Hall
Al Hall

Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.