Thursday 9 May 2024

£585m spent on property in Chichester in 2023

…£585,653,350 to be precise.

That was the huge amount of money spent on property in Chichester in 2023, according to recently released Land Registry data. That figure is, however, a whopping 29% lower than the total spent in 2022 (£820m).

Interestingly, that decrease was primarily down to the 23% decline in the number of transactions, although the average property also sold for 4% less in 2023 (£447,465) than in 2022 (£466,171). The number of transactions has now been declining each year since 2014 (with the sole exception of 2021).                                                                                                                           Last year I predicted that a decline in prices towards the end of 2022 would continue into 2023 (correct), although the data suggested there would be little change in the number of transactions (incorrect), which would lead to an overall decrease in the total spend in 2023 (correct).                                                                                                                                                              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 remain steady at 2022’s relatively low 1,758. Instead, 2023 marked the lowest number of property sales in Chichester this millennium, with just 1,309 changing ownership!

This market slowdown has directly correlated with the sudden increase in interest rates. It seems the health of the market, both in terms of price and volume, rests largely on the action taken in this regard. The economists’ consensus had been for interest rate drops to have started by now, then pushing this prediction back to June and now being unsure whether it will happen even then. They also believe the drops will be more gradual than previously thought, which is why mortgage rates have again risen a little in recent weeks.

There is also the political uncertainty of a pending General Election adding to peoples’ reservations of buying right now. You may also have noticed there are quite a few new homes being built around Chichester too, for which we are already seeing developers having to reduce prices to sell and/or slowing down their build rates.

That is why I believe Chichester’s property market in 2024 already looks set to come in lower in terms of both price and volume than last year, resulting in another (albeit probably less steep) decline in the total amount spent on property overall.

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