Thursday, 21 July 2016

How Chichester’s housing mix has and will change

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Chichester’s housing mix and found that Chichester had a far lower density of housing than the UK average i.e. more detached houses rather than terraced houses and flats.

Upon reading the article someone got in touch asking whether this had changed much over time and how the housing mix is likely to change over the next decade.

Between 2001 and 2011 the wider Chichester District did follow the pattern of the country by increasing the ratio of flats, at the expense of houses. In 2001 Chichester’s housing mix was 14.1% flats vs 85.1% houses (0.8% ‘other’), which had evolved to 15.6% flats vs 83.8% houses (0.6% ‘other’) in 2011.

This was a little less of a swing compared to the national average; whereby in 2001 the country’s housing (19.4% flats / 80.2% houses / 0.4% other) had changed to 21.2% flats vs 78.3% houses by 2011.

chichester housing mix charts

As for the future, there are two key components that I believe will affect Chichester’s housing mix - house builders’ profitability along with local planning policy.
Whereas 2001 to 2011 saw an increase in the number of flats being built, you only need to venture around a few new-build sites today to see that developers have largely shied away from flats in favour of building houses (which are in greater demand and command a higher price tag).

What I believe could swing this back the other way in the future is local planning policy; specifically here in Chichester as the Council undertakes a 20 year outlook of the city (the ‘Chichester Vision’).

Whilst the current demographics in and around Chichester (older than the national average) leans itself towards a higher than average number of detached family houses, the Chichester Vision (which I was fortunate to consult on) had some great plans to attract younger professionals to the city.

The possible re-development of the Southern Gateway would also lean itself to a younger audience; with bars, restaurants and better transport hubs around the city centre and canal.
If successful, this could mean the mix of flats and smaller (terraced/semi-detached) houses rise significantly as Chichester’s population density increases and the age of the average Chichestrian drops.

I can only assume this long-term vision will get factored into local planning policies for Chichester so that the housing mix matches the demands of the city, rather than adopting a ‘build it and they will come’ approach…

chichester observer property headline

(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on 21st July 2016)
Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings.


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