Thursday 25 April 2019

£754m spent on property in Chichester in 2018

…£754,241,513 to be precise.

That was the huge amount of money spent on property in Chichester in 2018, according to recently released Land Registry data. That wasn’t enough to beat the figure spent in 2017 though (£758m), which actually means that 2018 saw the first drop in total spend since 2011.

The average sale price of £385,507 was in fact a record-high for Chichester in 2018 (up 3% on 2017), so the reason the overall spend was down is due to volume. There were 1,954 property sales in Chichester in 2018, which was down 7% versus 2017 (when 2,103 homes changed hands). This is now the fourth year in a row that the number of property sales have declined in Chichester.

Having said that, in 2015 sales were down 7% compared to the year before, in 2016 this had dropped to a 4% decline and by 2017 it was a mere 1% lower than the year before. Those figures had led me to predict a year ago that 2018 would finally see the number of house sales in Chichester rise - but I was wrong!

For it to have slipped back so much is bad news for Chichester’s property market. I had hoped we were ‘on the mend’ after the credit crunch, even if we remain some way off the sales figures seen in the early ‘noughties’ (an average of 2,525 properties were sold in Chichester each year between 2000-2007). Considering the number of new homes built in Chichester since then, it is clear that we are far below the number of properties you would expect a healthy Chichester property market to see sold.

Today there are 516 properties on the market in Chichester, with 162 showing as sold (subject to contract). This time last year there were 574 properties on the market, with 215 having been sold. So, things seem to have started off even worse in 2019, with both a decline in availability and the number of properties sold. This does not bode well for a recovery in the number of properties being sold this year then. You would therefore expect prices will start to flatten to account for this decreased demand.

It seems if you’re looking to buy a property, whether to live in or to let out, the market may be constraining once again. Those record-prices still remain though, so it’ll be interesting to see whether we are at a peak in terms of house prices in Chichester, or whether there is still room for further increases.

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