Thursday, 9 July 2020

Focus on Fishbourne’s property market

Not many internationally renowned historical sites are surrounded by housing estates, but that’s exactly what you get in Fishbourne.

I’ve often mentioned Fishbourne as one of my favoured local areas for buy-to-let. It benefits from its own railway station, easy access to the A27 and its properties offer better value for money on a ‘bricks for your buck’ basis than central Chichester, which is a mere two miles away.

There are a mixture of older properties closer to Fishbourne’s centre, whilst several newer estates have sprung up to the North; including Mosse Gardens in the 80’s and 90s, Caspian Close in 2004, Cuckoo Fields in 2012 and several smaller developments off Clay Lane in recent years. This rapid development led to a 19% increase in Fishbourne’s population between 2001 and 2011, with an even greater increase since.

The housing mix in Fishbourne is largely skewed towards family houses rather than flats. This makes sense, with Fishbourne’s own Primary school (rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted) and its catchment area to the ever-popular Bishop Luffa School less than one mile away (previously rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted).

Census data shows Fishbourne as a relatively affluent area, with over half the working population in managerial positions, whilst also showing it to be the fifth least deprived area of Chichester (out of 29). As of 2011, 22.4% of residents were 0-19 years of age and 24.8% were over 65.

The average property in Fishbourne is valued at £394,825 with the most expensive street being Clay Lane, with an average value of £515,000 per property, followed by Blackboy Lane, where the average property is valued at £417,000.

81% of Fishbourne’s 988 properties are owner occupied (as of 2011), with just 6% of residents renting socially and 11% renting privately. When compared to Chichester, where 57% own their home and 19% rent privately, it suggests there is scope for more of Fishbourne’s housing to become available for rent. Indeed, as I type, there are only two properties in Fishbourne available to let!
Having let a variety of property in Fishbourne, most tenants mention what a nice area Fishbourne is and how refreshing it was to have ample parking and a good-sized garden for similar money than a smaller terraced house would cost in Chichester’s city centre.

Whilst property prices have stalled in the past year (as have prices across the country), values in Fishbourne are up around 23% in the past decade. I believe Fishbourne represents a good opportunity for future capital growth as more people come to realise its excellent location within close proximity to the enduringly popular Chichester.

It will be interesting to see whether the farmland surrounding Fishbourne survives the developers eyes and whether the large Whitehouse Farm development ends up bridging the gap between Chichester and Fishbourne so as to morph it into one continuous area, rather than retaining Fishbourne’s current village identity.

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