Powerful aftershocks on June 13 rattled Cantabrians' confidence along with their homes, a new survey shows.
Christchurch residents lost confidence in the city's recovery after last month's big shakes, prompting more people to prepare to leave, polls by research company UMR show.
In total, 400 residents were surveyed from June 2 to 4, and again from June 17 to 19.
Those who believed the city's recovery was on track dropped from 66 per cent to 53 per cent after June 13, while the number of residents who planned to stay in the city fell from 87 per cent to 81 per cent.
People aged 18 to 29 (21 per cent), renters (16 per cent) and low-income families (14 per cent) were the most likely to leave the city in the next few years.
Jobs, the fear of more earthquakes and the depressing situation were the most common reasons for leaving.
The fear of another big quake increased after June 13, with the number of residents expecting a major shake in the next 12 months climbing from 51 per cent to 71 per cent.
UMR New Zealand research director Gavin White said the results showed the city's confidence had been "knocked a bit" by the June 13 quakes.
While the increase in uncertainty was "not highly surprising", more people planning to leave was a concern, White said.
Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button said she was not surprised by the poll's results.
"There's no doubt about it, June 13 was a bit of a knock for all of us.
"Everyone had that `not again' feeling."
However, Button believed confidence levels had risen since the second poll, which was conducted the weekend after the quakes.