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Why West Sussex has Become a Property Hotspot

Published On: June 29, 2015 at 10:51 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

The sunny South Coast and stunning South Downs National Park have made West Sussex a property hotspot recently. Buyers are also attracted to the picturesque towns and villages, and excellent transport links that the area boasts.

Connections by road, rail or air from Gatwick Airport mean that owner-occupiers and property investors alike will benefit.

Furthermore, the county experienced an 8.4% annual property price rise to May 2015, with the average house price at £243,446. This is below some of the more expensive parts of the country, significantly lower than the Greater London average of £474,544.

Why West Sussex has Become a Property Hotspot

Why West Sussex has Become a Property Hotspot

This huge price difference is causing Londoners to move out of the capital into the countryside where they achieve better value for money. Second homes also account for a large proportion of the market, especially along the coast.

Chichester’s sailing clubs are popular with families and professionals, and the sandy shores of West Wittering beach are perfect for holiday rentals and weekend homes.

The cathedral city of Chichester is also a thriving area with the Festival Theatre regularly hosting celebrity productions. Furthermore, the annual Festival of Speed is held at Goodwood.

New homes are flourishing with Help to Buy offered by many developers on rural, semi-rural and urban schemes. House builders are searching for new sites with planning in place or for strategic development.

It is expected that house building will reach 3,478 this year with a predicted 3,342 new homes in 2016. The largest proportions are forecast for Crawley, Horsham and mid-Sussex districts.

Philip Jordan, Chief Executive of property agent Henry Adams, says: “Our general residential sales offices have experienced a steady market so far this year, with stock levels of instructions marginally down year-on-year. This is partly due to the election, which caused people to defer their decision to move until future tax and housing policies of the winning party became clear.

“Sales agreed are similarly level pegging against the same time last year, although viewing levels are slightly lower, indicating that those potential buyers are more focused on acting rather than browsing.”

Jordan continues: “Certainly we’ve noticed a lack of stock, which in turn is putting some pressure on prices, particularly those on the waterfront, which can achieve a premium of around 25% or in some cases more. At the prestigious address of West Strand, West Wittering, prices up to £4.3m have been achieved.

“One smaller property requiring renovation and set on the land side of a beachfront road in West Wittering has just attracted six sealed bids over the guide price of £685,000. This is simply down to a finite number of waterfront properties and exponential demand. But if it’s a sea view you’re after, seafront apartments range from around the more modest £275,000.”

Jordan also explains that the buy-to-let market has “remained buoyant”, which he believes has been caused by low interest rates on savings accounts.

He adds: “The majority of our first time landlords are buying without the use of a mortgage following the Government’s changes to pension access in April and the choice to put inheritance money into bricks and mortar, as part of a wider portfolio for both income and capital appreciation.”

Jordan concludes: “Accurate pricing remains the key in this price sensitive market, especially in hotspots such as central Chichester, but demand for more rural, village and market town properties on the picturesque 600 square miles of the South Downs National Park, remains consistently good.”1