Thursday 27 April 2023

£820m spent on property in Chichester in 2022

…£819,528,482 to be precise.

That was the huge amount of money spent on property in Chichester in 2022, according to recently released Land Registry data. That figure is, however, 12% lower than the total spent in 2021 (£936m).

Interestingly, that decrease was entirely down to the 23% decline in the number of transactions, as the average property actually sold for 13% more in 2022 (£466,171) than in 2021 (£411,599). That pattern is something of a return to normal, as property prices have risen year-on-year for a while now, whereas the number of transactions had been declining each year since 2014 (with the sole exception of 2021).                                                                                                                                                                                      Last year I predicted that a lack of stock on the market would equate to higher prices (correct), whilst pent up demand and more new-build homes being built in the area would also mean an increase in the volume of sales (incorrect). 

When you consider that an average of 2,525 properties were sold in Chichester each year between 2000-2007 (the last ‘boom’ phase for property), it did not seem unrealistic to expect the number of property purchases to increase from the 2,274 sold in 2021. Had I looked a little closer though, I would have noticed that 1,522 properties were sold in the first half of 2021, before the market sharply slowed down in the second half, with just 752 being sold i.e. a market slowdown had seemingly already begun.

Then there was the shock of interest rates being increased seemingly month after month from their record low, which put paid to a lot of people’s intentions (and affordability) of buying a property. That seems to be the number one reason why now the consensus in the media is for a market slowdown - both in terms of property prices and number of transactions. 

If I look at the data for 2022 though, the number of sales was relatively consistent throughout the year (863 in the first half and 895 in the second half), whereas the average price started to decline towards the end of the year. If that trend was to continue, we might expect relatively little change in the number of sales in Chichester, whilst the average price does indeed look set to decrease. That would mean the total amount of money set to be spent on property in Chichester in 2023 will be lower than last year and that 2021 might in fact have been the peak of the market in this respect (for now at least).

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