Thursday, 13 October 2016

Are Chichester’s homes overcrowded?

I was speaking to a landlord in Chichester last week about the importance of matching the size of your home to the right type of tenants. He commented that with new homes seemingly getting smaller, people are having to settle for less and less space. That got me thinking…is that actually true?

The population of Chichester in 2011’s Census was 113,794, spread across 49,848 properties in the Chichester District. That means there was an average of 2.3 people in each household in Chichester.

But the census also shows that the number of single and two person households in the Chichester district is greater than the county, regional and national averages. Nearly one in three Chichester residents (32% to be exact) live alone whilst around 38% of Chichester’s households have two people in them.  And yet, whereas 70% of homes in Chichester have just one or two people living in them, 82% of homes in the District have at least three bedrooms!

This is probably something to do with the demographics in Chichester being skewed towards an older generation who may have seen their children fly the nest but wish to retain their current home and the downstairs space they have become used to (and can still afford to keep).

After all, if you’re anything like my mum who wanted to ‘downsize’ but retain a kitchen/diner, living room and separate dining room, you’d either need a chalet bungalow or you’re destined to have more bedrooms upstairs than you need for the sake of having the downstairs space that you want. Plus a smaller home often won’t give you the commonly requested amenities, such as adequate parking and a good sized garden.

A reduction in the number of people in each household is symptomatic of the overall housing market. Fifty years ago there were closer to three people in the average household, but families having fewer children, an aging population and an increase in divorces has led to a lower density per household. 

Today, only 5% of homes in Chichester house five or more people compared to, a still relatively modest, 7% nationally.

This means there are actually an awful lot of spare bedrooms available throughout the Chichester district (in excess of 35,000 according to my rough calculations). It also means that, in general, whilst houses may be getting smaller, it doesn’t seem that Chichester’s homes are bursting at the seams.

Chichester observer property headline

(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on 13th October 2016)
Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings.


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1 comment:

  1. making getting accommodation all the more difficult for my Daughter her partner and their newborn