Buying guide

The best suburbs in Christchurch to buy: St Albans

This large, diverse suburb keeps drawing in new residents.

Last updated: 11 June 2024

Rounding out the Top Five most searched Christchurch suburbs on Trade Me Property in 2024 (s0 far) is one of the city’s largest – St Albans.

If you’ve read some of the other articles in this series, you’ll know by now that we’re taking virtual tours of some of Christchurch’s most in-demand suburbs, based on the number of people searching for homes on Trade Me Property. Why Christchurch? The Garden City is seeing rising property prices, indicating a growing popularity among Kiwi home buyers. 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.

If you too are thinking about making a move to Christchurch, or are looking to change address within the city, we’re hoping to arm you with the key information you need to decide which suburb is best for you. This means knowing things like what amenities are on your doorstep, what school and pre-school options are available for families with kids, and how well served these suburbs are by public transport. All of these details have a material impact on what it’s like to live in these neighbourhoods, and should be part of your home buying checklist.

Here, we explore St Albans, a large inner-northern suburb that continues to draw more homebuyers to its postcode. Here’s why.

St Albans, Christchurch: key info

St Albans is Christchurch’s second largest suburb by population (beaten only by Halswell), with an estimated total of 13,830 residents in the June 2023 census. This gives it a larger population density than the other Top 5 suburbs we’ve looked at, with an average of 3,484 people per square kilometre

It’s also one of the Garden City’s most geographically extensive suburbs and features a wide range of architectural styles and housing ages. According to our most recent data, the average house price in St Albans is $727,400.

Why do people want to buy in St Albans, Christchurch?

1. Vibrance, diversity and community

While, overall, Christchurch might lack the diversity of some of Aotearoa’s other large urban areas, St Albans bucks this trend somewhat. In the 2018 census, 82.9% of St Alban’s residents were European/Pākehā, 7.0% Māori, 2.0% Pasifika, 12.8% Asian, and 2.9% other ethnicities.

St Alban’s multicultural population gives the suburb a vibrance, and the suburb has developed a pride in its identity, with the St Albans Residents’ Association hosting events like markets, festivals, concerts and volunteer programmes. There’s even a monthly paper, The St Albans News, which keeps the suburb’s community up-to-date with local issues, events and activities.

2. Beach access

Thanks to its location, St Albans has easy access to one of Christchurch’s popular and largest beaches - New Brighton, without having to fight through city centre traffic.

From the centre of St Albans, it’s less than a 15 minute drive to the sand and surf of New Brighton, meaning you can take advantage of this beautiful stretch of coastline.

New Brighton beach has something for everyone, with the iconic pier a favourite for photographers, and heated salt water pools and a playpark for the kids. You’ll also find a seaside market with live entertainment, delicious food, a great variety of stalls, childrens’ activities and face painting.

3. Green spaces

Having a green space near your home is important for all sorts of reasons: mental and physical wellbeing, dog walking and somewhere to take the kids for a run around. But did you also know that there’s plenty of evidence showing that nearby green spaces can also increase the value of a property?

Well, the good news for St Albans’ residents is that this Christchurch suburb is well served when it comes to green spaces, from English Park to Rugby Park and Abberley Park.

If you’re looking to escape the city altogether, St Albans is well placed for this too, with Cranford St leading directly onto the Christchurch Northern Corridor out towards the Waimakariri River.

4. City access

When the time for play is over and you’re heading into the office, St Albans’ residents don’t have to go far. Despite all of this access to nature, Christchurch City Centre is directly south of this suburb, so the commute is fast and straightforward.

On a Monday morning, you can expect to get into the city centre in roughly 10 minutes if you’re driving, or 15 if you’re on a bike. For those making use of Christchurch’s public transport system, a single bus ride (No. 27) will whisk you from St Albans to the heart of the Garden City in just over 20 minutes.

5. Education options

Interested in where you might be able to send the kids to school in St Albans? We think you’ll be impressed by the range of education options on offer in and around the suburb, which include:

  • St Albans School
  • St Albans Catholic School
  • Fundamentals Preschool & Nursery Merivale
  • Selwyn House School
  • Mairehau Primary School
  • Shirley Primary School
  • Elmwood Normal School
  • St Andrew’s College
  • Paparoa Street School
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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.