Buying guide

The best suburbs in Christchurch to buy: Papanui

Searching for Papanui properties?

Last updated: 13 June 2024

Located in the northwestern part of the Garden City, Papanui is one of the most sought-after suburbs among people searching for properties in Christchurch so far in 2024.

The entire city has experienced a substantial increase in demand from home buyers over the last year, reflected in increasing local property prices. Trade Me Property’s 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.

If you’re considering buying property in Christchurch, we’ve put together a series of articles exploring the 10 most popular suburbs for Trade Me Property users so far in 2024. We investigate everything from average house prices to the available amenities, to allow you to make an informed decision on where to buy.

So, with that in mind, let’s check out what is making the suburb of Papanui so popular for property purchasers.

Papanui, Christchurch: key info

The te reo name ‘Papanui’ translates to mean big flat land or plain, which is a very accurate description of this Christchurch suburb, which is bordered to the south by Strowan and St Albans and Bishopdale and Redwood to the north.

Papanui is home to a population of 7,510 people, according to the 2023 census, and features a population density of 3,045 people per square kilometre.

According to the most recent Trade Me Property data, the average property price in Papanui is $709,500.

Why do people want to buy homes in Papanui, Christchurch?

1. Excellent transport links

Three major roads run in and around the suburb of Papanui, providing excellent transport links in all directions. The Main North Road leads to North Canterbury, and is the quickest driving route out towards Kaikōura and onto Picton beyond, useful if you need to catch ferries to the North Island.

Papanui Road leads into Christchurch city centre. This single straight road will take you into the heart of the Garden City in around 8 - 18 minutes on average on a Monday morning, according to Google Maps. If you were cycling this route, you’d expect a commute of around 19 minutes, while the quickest buses (No. 1 or No. 95) would get you there in about 22 minutes.

Lastly, Harewood Road provides easy access to Christchurch International Airport in about 15 minutes by car, or 20 minutes on the bus.

2. Strong community vibes

If you’re looking to buy a house somewhere with a strong sense of community, you could do a lot worse than Papanui.

The Papanui Club is a real focal hub for the community, providing everything from sports facilities to a weekly pub quiz and dining facilities. It’s somewhere where friends, families and neighbours regularly come together for a fun, and surprisingly affordable, evening out.

There’s also the Papanui Heritage Group which focuses on the suburb’s history from its Māori roots to European settlement and beyond. The group has published several pamphlets about the suburb, and has put many of these in the Papanui Library, another community hub, so that anyone can learn about the place they call home. They also put on walks and talks for those keen to learn more in a group environment.

3. Education opportunities

Papanui hosts several reputable educational institutions, covering kids of all ages, making it a great place for families with school aged children. Among the options open to residents are:

  • Papanui High School
  • St. Bede’s College
  • Papanui Primary
  • St. Joseph’s Primary School
  • Christchurch Adventist School
  • Paparoa Street School
  • Laidlaw College
  • St. Andrew’s College

4. Retail opportunities

Papanui is well served when it comes to retail opportunities within the suburb itself. As well as the presence of major chains such as Kmart, The Warehouse, Mitre 10 and Briscoes, Papanui is also home to one of Christchurch’s major malls – Northlands Shopping Centre.

This major retail site is home to over 112 stores, and includes a mixture of fashion boutiques, electronics stores, eateries, banks and a supermarket, making it a one-stop-shop for many necessities.

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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.