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 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.

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(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.

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