Thursday, 27 February 2020

What can you buy in Chichester?

Properties available in ChichesterLast week I asked whether it was a good time to sell property in Chichester. Of course, the main reason you’ll consider selling your home is because you’re thinking of moving! With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at what’s out there at the moment in Chichester for potential buyers.

There are 625 property listings currently online in Chichester, of which 429 are still available to buy, with the other 196 sold (subject to completion). However, when you start to browse through these properties you’ll notice there are a lot of mobile homes (that can’t be used as a permanent residence), retirement flats (that are only good for people of a certain age), shared-ownership homes (that aren’t available to everyone) and properties advertised for ‘cash buyers only’ (which won’t apply to most). When you take all of these out of the mix, you’re left with just 295 properties to choose from!

Those looking to buy a three-bedroom home have the most choice, with 100 currently for sale (mostly terraced houses). Meanwhile those at the lower-end of the market looking for a one-bedroom property have the least to choose from, with just 15 on offer (mostly flats, although some one-bedroom houses do exist).

Median asking price of the four bedroom townhouse in North pallantOf course, what you can buy will largely depend on your budget. The cheapest of the 295 mortgageable properties that are suitable for non-retirees, can be called your own and lived in all year round, is a one-bedroom flat in Stockbridge Road, priced at £150,000.

On the other end of the scale, the most expensive property for sale in Chichester today is a four-bedroom townhouse in North Pallant, priced at £2.5million. Located on the most expensive street in Chichester, the Grade II listed property boasts over 5,000 square feet of living space, set over four floors.

Assuming your budget is somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, it might be interesting to know that the average property marketed for sale in Chichester is priced at £380,000. This figure is up around 9% compared to the £350,000 average of twelve months ago.

Breaking the averages down by property type provides a good indication of what your budget is likely to be able to afford in Chichester:

one-bed flat = £205,000
two-bed flat = £275,000
two-bed house = £315,000
three-bed house = £400,000
four-bed house = £550,000

Interestingly, the average price of two-bedroom properties are the only ones to have dropped compared to a year ago. They are also the only ones to have increased in the number available to buy. Meanwhile all the other sized homes have both increased in average price, whilst reducing in supply. It seems therefore that the low supply of property in Chichester is a key reason why property prices remain so resilient. This limits prospective buyers’ choices, which makes finding that dream home just a little bit trickier.


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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, 24 February 2020

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3 bed house in Chichester, £235,000, 5.1% yield

3 bed house, Charles Avenue, Chichester
kitchen lounge
Summary:
3 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 18/12/19 @ £246,500
Now = £235,000
Rent = £995pcm
Yield = 5.1%


Having been reduced to £235,000 from £246,500 when it was first listed just before Christmas, this is now the cheapest three-bedroom house for sale in Chichester.

As always, that kind of statistic is enough to warrant a closer look as to how it might stack up as a buy-to-let property. In the case of this house on Charles Avenue, it stacks up pretty well. Sure, that location isn't the most desirable in Chichester - but it's actually cheaper than many of the TWO bedroom houses just a few hundred yards away in Arundel Park.

Furthermore, it appears to be in excellent condition. There's another on the street available for £240,000 that is in need of some refurbishment. And yet this one is cheaper and appears to have all been done for you - neutral décor and flooring, modern kitchen & bathroom, double glazing and gas central heating are all present.

As it's the cheapest three-bedroom house for sale in Chichester you can also expect it to be amongst the cheapest three-bedroom houses for rent in Chichester, should you decide to let it. Whilst there are a few cheaper showing as 'let agreed', the cheapest three-bedroom house currently available to rent in Chichester is priced at £995pcm. My experience suggests that's a fair price for a house like this, keeping it just below the big round £1,000 figure.

At that price, you'd be buying a freehold house in excellent condition that's ready to rent out and earn a potential 5.1% rental yield based on paying the full asking price. Meanwhile, comparable houses around it seem to be selling at a slightly higher price. That definitely sounds like a buy-to-let deal to me!

The property is on the market with Henry Adams and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-87596537.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, 20 February 2020

Is now a good time to sell your Chichester property?

Best time to sell your houseThe start of a new year often prompts people to re-evaluate their circumstances, and for many that means thinking about where they live. Still, it’s a little wet and chilly out to do much about it, so most people wait until the Spring or Summer to market their property. That way the photos will look better and more people are supposedly looking (plus viewings tend to go better as it’s lighter and drier outside).

This is evident if we look at how many properties were advertised for sale in Chichester month-by-month in 2019:

January - 426
February - 439
March - 422
April - 416
May - 444
June - 449
July - 468
August - 468
September - 473
October - 455
November - 439
December - 416
advertised property in Chichester 2019
The year started slowly and I’m surprised to see things didn’t start to ramp up until May, eventually peaking in September. Interestingly then many people see the Summer holiday as a quiet time for the property market, and yet July, August and September remained very busy as far as stock is concerned.

From looking at the figures then you may think it’s best to wait a while before marketing your property for sale. There are a few reasons though as to why NOW might be the best time to sell your property.

1) It’s the right time for you
Put simply, trying to second guess the market and when it might be a ‘good’ time to sell is needless. If you want to sell your property to suit your lifestyle...do it! There will always be a buyer out there looking for a property if it’s priced correctly.

2) Less competition
By marketing in the ‘quieter’ periods, there are fewer alternatives for those who are looking to buy. This might lead to a more enthusiastic buyer coming along, giving you a head start before the ‘rush’. You might even save a little on fees as some agents offer promotions at this time of year as they fight for listings.

3) You’ll be ready to buy
Listing your property early could mean it will be sold by the time more properties come on the market. This will put you in a good position to buy as you’ll be ‘ready to move’; a circumstance which is normally favoured by agents and vendors.

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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, 17 February 2020

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 4 bed house in Tangmere, £350,000, 4.5% yield

4 bed house, Osborn Drive, Chichester
kitchenlounge
Summary:
4 bed house in Tangmere
Listed for sale on 10/02/20 @ £350,000
Rent = £1,300pcm
Yield = 4.5%


This is a great-sized four-bedroom house in Tangmere. Being semi-detached and spread over three floors means you get a lot of square footage (around 1,100) for the money - it comes with an asking price of £350,000.

It is relatively new and has been kept in great condition. This means there should be virtually nothing necessary to get it 'ready to rent'. It will also appeal to well-heeled tenants, who typically like living in such modern properties.

Having said that, one thing that does irk me with this property, and is common in many new-builds, is the lack of tiling and a full height shower over the bath. The developer's logic here is simple - there's a shower in the en-suite, so we'll save money in not putting one in the main bathroom. But in a house such as this that would mean three bedrooms on the middle floor coping without a shower or, more likely seeing as most people shower rather than bath nowadays, queuing to use the sole shower in the master bedroom upstairs.

Regardless of that detail, which isn't insurmountable, It should rent for around £1,300pcm. This would equate to a 4.5% rental yield based on that full asking price. That's a decent return for a freehold property in this area, particularly when you consider the age and condition of the house.

The property is on the market with White & Brooks and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-77352301.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, 13 February 2020

Which decade was best for house prices?


I recently wrote about how it had gotten tougher during the 2010’s to get on the property ladder, as house prices rose by a third throughout the decade. This wasn’t the highest house price growth seen for any given decade though; far from it in fact. Which decade do you think was best for house prices (or worst depending on whether you were on the ladder or not!)?

Here’s the average cost of a home in the UK at the start of each decade to help you out:

1952: £1,891
1960: £2,170
1970: £4,312
1980: £21,966
1990: £61,495
2000: £74,638
2010: £162,116
2020: £215,925
Looking at the figures showing average house prices over time, most people conclude that the ‘noughties’ had the most growth. With prices shooting up from £74,638 to £162,116 in a decade, the rise of 117% was certainly spectacular. And it’s true that the increase of £87,478 is the largest monetary gain of any decade…but in relative terms, it was actually the Seventies when prices really started to rocket; shooting up 409% in a decade.

It’s very easy when looking at the numbers or a graph to see the huge increase in absolute terms and forget that an increase from 100 to 200 is actually the same in relative terms as an increase from 1 to 2. In fact, the 2000’s and 2010’s were both below the average percentage increase each decade on record has seen.

This made me recall the story my dad had told me when I moaned about how “lucky” he was for being born as part of the ‘baby boomers’. He reminisced how he had bought his first home in 1976 for £12,250, taking out a £8,250 mortgage. “See, you only needed a £4,000 deposit” I scoffed! Before being told he’d saved everything he could to accumulate what was more than the average annual salary at the time and around a third of the value of the property. Plus, he added, my generation haven’t had to deal with 10% unemployment and 15% interest rates.

Still, I said, buying a house for £12,250 seems something of a no-brainer! And yet at the time, my mum’s brother had warned my parents how that £8,250 mortgage would be “a millstone around your neck for the rest of your life”.

One thing my dad did agree he’d been lucky on was not taking out an endowment mortgage! For fear of opening sore wounds amongst some readers, I’ll end my trip down memory lane there…

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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, 10 February 2020

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 2 bed house in Chichester, £225,000, 4.5% yield

2 bed house, Berkeley Mews, Chichester
kitchenlounge
Summary:
2 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 05/02/20 @ £225,000
Rent = £850pcm
Yield = 4.5%

Last sold for £186,000 in 2019 = +21% in 1 year

These two bedroom houses are lovely little properties close to Chichester's city centre and yet in an unusually quiet cul-de-sac you'd barely notice. They're an ok size for a starter home, with a good-sized double and small single bedroom. Curiously for a house they are leasehold and come with communal gardens rather than a private one. This can make them appear like a two-storey flat rather than a 'proper' house in many peoples eyes.

What's particularly curious with this property is it was sold only last November...for £186,000. That's some 17% lower than the current asking price of £225,000 and in that time it's only been subject to a light overhaul (new flooring and décor plus a few fixtures) rather than a full overhaul. This causes me an issue in truly promoting it as a good buy, as it's clear you could've bought it for much less only a few months ago. Furthermore, a mortgage surveyor will pick up on this fact and it could affect their valuation as there isn't any real justification for it (other than the current owners bought it cheap). You should also factor in that the most expensive house ever sold in Berkeley Mews went for £205,000 in 2014.

What is also curious is It's got furniture in it now, so it doesn't appear to have been a quick buy, refurb and sell project. Maybe the owners are living in there very short-term (perhaps for tax reasons?), have tenanted it short-term rather than having it empty, or have 'dressed' the property for sale. Either that or their circumstances changed very quickly indeed.

Fundamentally this is a well-presented property in a great location close to Chichester's city centre that is popular with young tenants who get the layout and privacy of a house (plus two parking spaces!) but don't need to tend to a garden. It should rent for £850pcm, which is a decent 4.5% return for a house - but bare in mind it's leasehold and comes with service charges, so really this figure should be compared to a flat, which makes it a little low. And that comes back to the price - some £39,000 more than the current owner paid just a few months ago and £20,000 more than one has ever sold for in the development. Perhaps it should be 'one to watch' rather than 'one to buy now' based on digging into the story behind the property.

The property is on the market with Bell & Blake and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-89128502.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, 6 February 2020

Why you should let tenants turn your house into their home

At a viewing last week, I was asked by prospective tenants whether they’d be able to put pictures up on walls should they move in. I’m amazed some landlords charge thousands in rent but won’t allow their tenants to put a few pictures up, especially when you consider it from a business perspective.

Having such stringent rules about how a tenant can live won’t make them want to stay for long. This will naturally create a higher churn of tenants, leading to more void periods (and less rent in the landlord’s pocket). Furthermore, the coming and going of tenants will lead to greater wear and tear; which presumably is what the landlord was trying to avoid in the first place!

In my view it’s quite simple; yes, the tenant should respect the property they are renting, but for the time they are there they should see it as their home and treat it accordingly.

If tenants want to put pictures up, they would simply be instructed to return the wall in the same condition as when they started the tenancy. That would mean filling any holes and touching them up. If the touch up doesn’t match the rest of the wall, they should paint the wall. Alternatively, I’d probably give them the advice to buy special hanging strips, which can be used to hang pictures on walls securely without making any holes!

To further protect the landlord, an inventory is created before the tenancy begins, which includes a thorough description and photos of the property’s condition (including the walls). The tenants get the opportunity to check through it, so all parties understand how things need to be returned at the end of the tenancy (less fair wear and tear).

Inspections will soon show if tenants are abusing the tolerances afforded to them, whilst a visit before their move-out with a few pointers as to what is needed to be done to get the property back to the required standard is a good idea. This will help tenants know what is needed to get their security deposit back and it should reduce any required maintenance come the end of the tenancy (again reducing the dreaded void periods).

As ever, choosing the right tenants is important in allowing them the flexibility to live in the property as if it were their own. Whilst the best tenants will ask before making any changes and implement them in a reasonable manner, bear in mind that the worst tenants will just go ahead and do it anyway. Having a more collaborative approach should see happy and content tenants wanting to stay longer in the landlord’s house, having turned it into their home.

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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