Thursday, 15 November 2018

More for sale in Chichester and at a higher price - so what’s the problem?


There are 347 properties for sale in Chichester as I type, compared to 329 a year ago. What’s more, the average asking price (£350,000) is also up compared to 12 months ago (£325,000). Everything looks rosy in Chichester’s property market then…but is there another story to be told?

Well yes, because let’s remember you don’t put your property on the market simply for fun, but to sell it! And that is where the process is falling down a little - with just 216 sold boards in the ground in Chichester compared to 243 a year ago. That may not sound much of a difference (although it’s actually more than 10% down) but remember it’s also coinciding with there being more property on the market. All things being equal you’d expect there to be more sold properties as a result too, but that isn’t the case. In fact, whereas a year ago 42.5% of the properties on the market were sold, that figure has now dropped to 38.4%.


This has been the trend in Chichester’s property market over the last few years; whereby there are more properties on the market but proportionally fewer people actually buying. Data from home.co.uk also shows the average time a property is spending on the market is up to 97 days, compared to 86 days this time last year.

It’s unusual therefore that we’ve seen asking prices continue to increase in the face of this. I suspect a couple of things are happening here - people are clinging to past performance and they’re not adapting to the tougher conditions. Estate agents may be fuelling this; afterall, it’s an unpopular agent who suggests a lower than expected asking price and, more often than not, is not the estate agent who goes on to get the listing. If we look at the sold data in Chichester instead, we’re seeing prices are actually only 2.5% higher than they were a year ago.

People will point to Brexit causing uncertainty and fear, which is constraining the market. Stamp duty changes may also be stopping people from taking the plunge, particularly if they aren’t replacing their main residence (and thus being caught by the additional 3% tax on the purchase price). Whatever the reason, you would expect that with more properties available and fewer being sold it’s only a matter of time before prices start to conform to the principles of supply and demand i.e. they begin to level off.

To follow the latest developments in Chichester’s property market, be sure to subscribe to the free Chichester Property News weekly e-newsletter by visiting www.tinyurl.com/chipropertynews









(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on November 16, 2018)


Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings











If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:






c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Monday, 12 November 2018

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3 bed house in Chichester, £300,000, 4.4% yield

3 bed house, Little Breach, Chichester
kitchenlounge
Summary:
3 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 19/10/18 @ £300,000
Rent = £1,100pcm
Yield = 4.4%

Last sold in 1995 for £70,000 (+329% in 23 years)

There are currently quite a few three-bed houses for sale around this (fairly reasonable for Chichester) £300,000 price point. This could be amongst the best of them due to it's location and size. Popular amongst homeowners and tenants alike due to its close proximity to Chichester's city centre and yet the layout of the street still retains a sense of 'homeliness' along with the properties generous plots, off-road parking and garages.

The fundamentals are there - double glazing (to most doors and windows - something to check), gas central heating and a very nice kitchen. The shower room could do with replacing to a bathroom ideally, so as to appeal to families, and overall a change to some carpets and d├ęcor will help freshen it up. With these small improvements there'll be a very nice family home up for grabs. I'd expect it to rent for at least £1,100pcm, which would provide a decent 4.4% yield based on that £300,000 asking price. It might even get a smidge more when you factor in the garage.

It's clear from a few of the photos that it's been in the same ownership for some time. The sales data backs this up - it was last sold in 1995 for the princely sum of £70,000. That means it's more than quadrupled in price since John Major was Prime Minister and Tony Blair was promising that things "could only get better" (read as 'more expensive'!)

The property is on the market with Purplebricks and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-68046931.html


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:



c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP


Chichester rental valuation

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Preparing your property for Winter


The following tips can be applied all year round but they’re particularly relevant at this time of year as it gets colder, darker and wetter outside.

1) Familiarise yourself with your property

Ensure you know where the fusebox, gas safety valve and water stop valve are and how they operate, in case of an emergency (I provide a house guide to my tenants with this information and also show them when they move in).

2) Keep on top of basic maintenance

Check roofs and gutters for slipped or damaged tiles and for any leaks. Check overflows and pipework for any leaks as well as damp smells or flaking paint, which may indicate a hidden problem.

Bleed the radiators and check the pressure of the boiler to see if it needs topping up.

3) Avoid condensation

Build-up of condensation can be more prevalent in winter as more heating is used, clothes are dried inside and there is a tendency to want all the windows shut.

All this moisture in the property needs to go somewhere and will invariably attach itself to cold surfaces (exterior walls/window surrounds) and create unsightly condensation/mould patches.

Keep windows open throughout the property, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens and especially during and after showering/bathing and cooking. Use extractor fans where fitted and wipe down any wet surfaces after using the shower/bath.

4) Don’t turn the heating off completely

This is very important to prevent the freezing of the water system and expensive burst pipes. It’ll also help in the fight against condensation, which thrives on a changing temperature.

The easiest solution if you are planning to be away from the property is to leave the boiler on and set the thermostat to a low temperature i.e. 12°.

5) Fire safety

Do not overload electrical sockets with appliances and Christmas lights as this can cause a fire hazard. Avoid using candles, particularly near Christmas trees, decorations and curtains.

Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

I believe prevention is better than cure, which is why I pre-arm my tenants with a 'winter maintenance guide' at the beginning of their tenancy and re-issue it as winter approaches.

You can download this short guide, free of charge, from www.crjlettings.co.uk/winter-advice









(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on November 08, 2018)


Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings











If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:






c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Monday, 5 November 2018

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 6 bed house in Chichester, £300,000, 9.5% yield

6 bed house, Millfield Close, Chichesterkitchenlounge'
Summary:
6 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 31/10/18 @ £300,000
Rent = £2,375pcm
Yield = 9.5%
New to the market this week is what sounds like a behemoth of a property - six bedrooms for £300,000, providing a yield of 9.5%!

Of course you can tell from the photo it isn't a traditional six bedroom house, but rather a three bedroom house that has had some tinkering and extending to create six bedrooms on a HMO basis.

This strategy isn't for everyone, but as this property shows the rental income can be high. Of course that's if all the rooms are let and such properties will traditionally be let as 'bills included' i.e. the landlord pays the council tax, water, gas, electricity, tv licence, broadband etc.

Even so, a 9.5% gross yield on a £300,000 property suggests a rental income of £2,375pcm, which is around £400pcm per room, which stacks up. It's not the nicest HMO I've seen; the kitchen is tired and the six bedrooms share three toilets and two showers, so there is a chance this could be left behind as more and more purpose-built shared accommodation (complete with en-suites) get built, particularly for the student market.

Nevertheless, £300,000 isn't much more than the 'bricks and mortar' value of the property so it's a decent risk and property regardless of use. It is still a large (circa 1,100 square feet) three or four bedroom house in it's traditional 'bedrooms upstairs, living space downstairs' configuration. It's location near to St Richards Hospital should make it popular with tenants, regardless if it's aimed at sharers or a family let.

I do wonder if it's a coincidence that this house has come up for sale just after the new HMO legislation has come into force. As part of this, if a house is shared by five or more people it needs a licence (costing around £1,000 every five years). Currently there's only four of the six rooms rented...is this because it currently doesn't have a licence i.e. the landlord is purposely below the five occupants but marketing it in it's former glory? To get a licence are there improvements that will need to be made? That's definitely something to check if you're planning to keep it as a HMO. If you are there's scope to improve certain elements to keep it competitive as newer shared properties come to market, whilst potentially increasing the already decent income it achieves further.

The property is on the market with Nexa Properties and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-57679479.html


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:



c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP


Chichester rental valuation

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Community Focus: Draper's Yard


Draper's Yard is a collective of independent and artisan retailers based in the Hornet, next to fabric and haberdashery emporium Clothkits.  There are 20 small local businesses set around a quirky courtyard, ranging from children’s clothing & toys to hair & beauty services and jewelry.

The best thing about supporting small local businesses is the bespoke product and personal service that is on offer.  There is an onsite florist, Katkins Flowers, sewing services from The Little Sewing Hut whilst Leonora Hammond will print you a one-off t-shirt, bag or poster…or even a Christmas Stocking!  The Paint Pot will customise any piece of furniture you like and there is The Chichester Bedroom Centre who will design you the perfect bedroom. Former East Street retailer 'Zest for Taste' are now a resident business, bringing their amazing olive oils & gourmet treats to Draper’s Yard.  It's also Chichester's only ‘pop-up’ destination, with seven table spaces for guest traders.

So, why not grab a coffee from the vintage Citroen van, or sample some tasty treats from the onsite vegan cafe, BBVegan.  As well as some upcoming special festive events, the ever-popular ‘YUM Saturday’ is held every fourth Saturday of the month, featuring a guest chef and a selection of local food producers.



Most shops open on Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm (plus Sundays in December)
Find out more at www.drapers-yard.co.uk

Chichester Property News - Issue 32 - November 2018

Featuring the articles:
"How is 2018 shaping up for Chichester's Property Market?"
"Landlords - what you should check before arranging a viewing"
"Community Focus:  Draper's Yard"
and "Buy-to-let deal of the month: 3 bed house in Chichester, £315,000, 4.4% yield"

Plus, the latest average property values, rents and yields in Chichester.

➕ Plus, the latest average property values, rents and yields in Chichester!

Rents down 15% in Chichester!


That’s a shocking title, but it’s true; the average rental price for a property on the market in Chichester is £975pcm. A year ago it was £1,150pcm. What’s fuelling this drop is quite simple - an imbalance in the supply and demand of rental properties in Chichester.

On the supply side there are 199 properties on the rental market as I write. 141 are available to rent whilst 58 are let agreed (29% of the total). 12 months ago there were just 151 properties in Chichester’s rental market; 90 of these were available to rent, whilst 61 were let agreed (a far greater 40% of the total). So, there were more properties let agreed a year ago than there are now…and yet there are 32% more properties on the market!
This shows that on the demand side there are simply fewer tenants taking up tenancies right now than there were a year ago. It’s easy to roll out the all-encompassing excuse that is ‘Brexit’ for the market slowdown, but perhaps it’s just that tenants are more settled in their homes. Maybe they’re waiting for tenant admin fees to be banned before moving. Is job security weaker than it once was, thus forcing people to ‘hunker down’? No one knows for sure…but the simple fact is that there are more properties available to rent in Chichester and fewer being let…and that can only lead to lower prices.

I do think that late 2017 was something of an oddity here in Chichester though - supply had been unusually low for a long time, which had led to rents rising. If we go back a few years the average rent was lower than it is now (£925pcm) and whilst there were still fewer properties on the market than there are now (168), the percentage let agreed (29%) was identical to what we’re seeing today. 

It also stands to reason that if there are more cheaper properties on the market then the average price will naturally be lower. I think there’s an element of that here, as the average a year ago (£1,150pcm) sat much closer to the price of an average three-bedroom house (£1,200pcm) than it did the price of a two-bedroom house (£950pcm), whereas today the average rent (£975pcm) sits closer to the price of a two-bedroom house (£950pcm) than today’s three-bedroom houses (£1,150pcm). Consider also that whilst the price of one-bedroom flats and three-bedroom houses have indeed dropped, the price of the average two-bedroom house has remained the same whilst the price of two-bedroom flats and four-bedroom houses have actually increased.

So, whilst landlords with properties currently available to rent need to be aware of an increased supply to the market, I do not feel it is time to panic; doing so by slashing asking rents would only fuel a further fall in prices. 









(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on November 01, 2018)


Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings











If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:






c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation