State of Your Local Property Market: August 2023

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While the news is full of pretty bleak stories about inflation, interest rate hikes, and other economic challenges, here’s the real deal: if you’re in the property market—whether you’re buying, selling, renting, or letting—you’ve got to zoom in on the local scene that catches your eye. 

The smart move? Have a chat with seasoned professionals who live and breathe this stuff day in and day out, and who truly know what’s what in your specific area.

The Current Landscape

In contrast to the sensationalised headlines, the reality is that the housing market has not undergone a fundamental change and, despite the challenging economic conditions, the housing market stands resilient and is certainly not in free fall.

Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson shares his perception of the current landscape: “Despite disappointing national economic news it’s encouraging that the number of valuations for sale conducted per branch has remained steady. And, of course, those coming to the market to sell are most often also looking to buy, which keeps the wheels turning for all.” 

At Sims Williams, we support this view. We have offices in Arundel, Bognor-Regis, Chichester and Walberton and cover the beautiful towns and villages across the coastal area between Emsworth and Climping, including parts of the South Downs National Park. All of which, we are delighted to say, are buzzing with activity in both the sales and rental markets. The number of properties listed for sale and those that have been sold, remain more or less consistent month to month.

Mortgage rates

What has contributed to a change in the property market, is the increase in mortgage rates. Whilst these are predicted to drop by the end of the year, those who could afford to borrow £500,000 on a 3% rate this time a year ago are looking at an additional 2% minimum on their monthly repayments for the same amount now. To put that into perspective, that’s an increase of at least £600 a month over a 35 year term. Not an easy additional amount of money to find every month.

What does this mean? Typically, these buyers are looking to spend less; which will have a knock on effect on house prices.

The market remains volatile so it’s important to keep your eye on the news, and keep your trusted estate agents and mortgage advisors close to support you on your journey and help secure you the best deal moving forwards.

 In the last month, rates have moved in the right direction for new borrowers as the full effect of recent lender rate cuts starts to infiltrate the market.

As of Tuesday 29th August 2023, the current average mortgage rate for a five-year fixed, 85% loan-to-value mortgage is 5.36%, down from 6.14% in the last couple of weeks. The lowest rate for this type of mortgage is 5.34%.

Rental market review

Although some landlords have experienced increased mortgage costs, which has resulted in some of them exiting the market, the steady increase in rental figures over the past three years, coupled with an adjustment in selling prices, has meant that yields are strong again. It is quite feasible to obtain a yield of over 5% on a freehold property now and in some cases, yields of between 6% and 7% are being achieved, particularly on flats. Prior to the increase in interest rates, which has precipitated the fall in house prices, it was difficult to obtain a yield of much over 4%.

Void periods are also at an all – time low, with a property typically being empty between tenancies for less than two weeks, on average.

The insatiable demand for rented properties, which often results in multiple applications for the same property, shows no sign of abating and landlords prepared to take a medium to long term view on the property market are still acquiring buy to let houses and flats. 

For advice on potential opportunities, please contact your local Sims Williams office for independent, expert advice. We can point new landlords in the right direction about where to buy and also discuss the different management options available. Even experienced landlords need to be informed on upcoming changes in legislation and we are happy to answer any questions.

The Road Ahead 

The market is still active, and buyers are still buying. The big difference between now and the same time last year is that it has become a more ‘price sensitive’ market. 

Looking back at last summer we saw situations whereby buyers were paying asking prices or in some cases ‘in excess of asking prices’ due to the shortage of supply and the very low cost of borrowing.

Fast forward to Summer 2023 and we are seeing potential buyers showing more caution and looking more at the price they are paying. Building Society Valuers are also being tougher on values, they are wanting more direct comparable evidence to support the prices being paid, in some instances they are ‘down-valuing’ which can have an impact on buyers’ mortgages and often result in renegotiation.

Price is key in any market, but more so just now, with interest rates as they are. Whilst we fully appreciate that it is hard to accept the value of your home may have fallen, it’s fair to say that any onward purchase will have fallen by a similar percentage. 

Sims Williams are estate and letting agents with branches in Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and Walberton. We are here to guide you through every step of your journey, providing professional advice, support and guidance you can trust. For support on your property journey,  please get in touch.

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What our clients say

Excellent, very professional service.

Letting our former holiday home for the first time was a new experience. We decided to have three agents visit. David and his team stood out. Attention to our personal wishes in terms of a tenant, excellent follow up after the initial visit, good marketing and a very personal approach by the team. The letting process went smoothly. The team kept us in touch and arranged all necessary legal obligations etc. We are a week in to the let…, early days! So far, I have only praise for this agent. Thank you Sims Williams.
Nita - Landlord - Feb 14th, 2022

Super Service

Back in August 2022, we decided to sell our house. After having several estate agents in, we decided on Sims Williams and we are so glad we did. Michael was so thorough in detail and within a week (seriously!), our house was on the market with photos done and viewings arranged. We had lots of advice from Michael and any queries we had were answered promptly. When the house was SSTC (which also happened after only one viewing!), Karen then took over and was also extremely efficient, keeping us up to date all the time. This gave us absolute reassurance that Sims Williams made us their priority. Honestly, we can't thank all the staff at Sims Williams enough for making the sale of our house such a smooth process, having heard that selling your house can be really stressful. Thank you Sims Williams! We will certainly recommend you to anyone who wishes to sell their house.
Mr & Mrs Wong Vendors - Oct 21st, 2022


Me and a friend recently went through Sims Williams to view some newly renovated apartments in central Chichester. David was with us for our initial viewing through to our tenancy signing and was incredibly helpful and prompt with communication throughout. We were disappointed to have not been informed on our initial viewing that the property would be under construction for 6-8 months out of our 12 months tenancy, however despite this all communication with Sims Williams was very quick in getting in touch with the landlord about this, and we are still very happy with the service that they provided.
Summer F-B - Tenant - Nov 18th, 2020


Richard was completely professional yet friendly and kept us informed every step of the way. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he made a protracted transaction far less stressful than it could have been. Thoroughly recommend him and the company.
Fay - Vendor - Dec 7th, 2021

Couldn't of been happier with the team

John and all the team were fantastic so helpful all throughout the sale highly recommend
Mr & Mrs Haimes- Vendor - Aug 12th, 2022

The fastest ever

What an amazing experience from initial valuation through viewings to selling/buying and moved in a smidge over five weeks, professional and supportive throughout, would heartily recommend, many thanks.
Rich & Yvonne - Vendor - Mar 31st, 2021


The Sims team at Arundel are a professional team. Very responsive and helpful.
Mel - Buyer - Dec 2nd, 2020

Excellent Service

The whole team and Karen and Calum in particular are very professional and kept me informed throughout a difficult purchase, don’t go anywhere else!
Dave - Buyer - Mar 6th, 2021

My new home purchase

Annabel and Mel are absolute stars , I really can't praise them enough ! Top Ladies who were a massive help in my new home purchase . A big thanks to both ladies !!
Lee - Buyer - Mar 20th, 2023

Excellent service

From the start to finish of my purchase, Sims Williams were very much there the whole time updating me with the progression. I am personally very impressed with Sims Williams and from my experience would recommend.
Linda - Buyer - Mar 19th, 2021