State of Your Local Property Market: July 2023

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You’ve read the headlines, you’ve no doubt heard the widespread concern, but what does it really mean for you now that interest rates have risen to 5% and how does this affect mortgages?

First things first: don’t panic.

Don’t get swept up in the pandemonium and scare-mongering some of the main tabloids like to create. We are here to talk you through the facts and explain how this can impact you and your property journey whether you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let.

As with any significant changes to the market, we always recommend seeking out expert advice before making any big decisions. If you have questions about market developments, we’re here to address your concerns and clarify the industry jargon.

The current landscape

Approximately every six weeks, The Bank of England (BoE) meet to decide whether the Base Rate needs to change or remain the same. On 22nd June 2023, The Bank of England (BoE) raised the base rate by 0.5%, bringing it up to the highest rate we’ve seen in 15 years, to 5%.

  • For those of you that have a variable rate mortgage, your rate is likely to rise immediately, alongside the base rate rise. Standard variable rates (SVR) behave in the same way.
  • Fixed rate mortgages have all recently increased to follow the base rate too, meaning that if your current fixed rate is ending, then you will end up having to take a new deal on a higher rate.

Sarah Pennells, a consumer finance expert at Royal London explained, “even though the average fixed rate mortgage deals on the market may be much higher than the one you have, moving on to a lender’s SVR will typically be higher still. It is usually a lender’s most expensive mortgage option”.

Remember: the economy moves in cycles. The current spike in rates will drop in time. For now, make informed decisions and keep your trusted mortgage advisors and estate agents close by.

A silver lining, if you will, after a prolonged period of continued increases, swap rates have remained relatively stable.

Matt Smith, a mortgage expert from Rightmove stated: “The Bank of England appears to have opted for a larger Base Rate … to address the underlying issues driving inflation, and it continues to forecast that inflation will drop sharply in the second half of the year”.


Your local market

We want to reassure you that our local property markets, including Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and The Six Villages, are all extremely buoyant despite the economic changes. We appreciate our role and reputation in the community. It’s our reputation and unbeatable local knowledge that sets us apart, and we hope that when we say the markets are stable and buoyant that it reassures you that you do not need to settle and stay put if you are looking to make a property change. We are here, willing and able to help get you moving and out of your property rut.

Granted, the post-pandemic rush is over but there is still a very active demographic of out-of-area buyers who are looking to escape larger towns and cities and relocate. Coastal towns such as Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and The Six Villages are extremely popular due to the ability to get more bricks for your buck. The cleaner air is also a huge attraction. Your property could be exactly what they’re looking for.

It is important to remember that the current property market is not a bad market. Investing in property has always been a significant commitment, regardless of the economy. The only different right now is that it’s more crucial to price correctly in order to achieve a sale within a reasonable timescale.

Hitting the market at a price above market value risks it taking longer to sell and therefore ‘going stale’. So much so, in fact, that a property that is put to market at the wrong level can cost you up to 11 extra weeks on the market.

Simply put, if you want to sell in a decent time frame, you are better off working with our views on the local market value and price as close to this as possible. If you’re unhappy to accept the local market value when pricing your property for sale, either because you want to achieve a higher price or because another agent has priced high to secure your instructions, you just need to be aware that you risk having to wait a longer time to achieve this. It is important to consider both the financial and practical implications of choosing to wait longer to sell your property.

We are here to guide you through every step of your journey, providing professional advice, support and guidance you can trust. Whether it’s to arrange a valuation for sale or friendly advice on any aspect of moving, do please get in touch.

As one of the leading, privately-owned independent estate agents in West Sussex we will continue to treat every property as unique and create a tailored, personal service for each and every client, throughout every economic change.

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What our clients say

Fantastic Service

As first time sellers we had a lot of questions and Sims Williams were happy to help. They were easy to contact throughout, kept us up to date on viewings and feedback. They even found our perfect home, which we got to see before it went on the market. Karen & the team were fantastic at keeping everyone in the chain informed & keeping the sale & purchase moving forward. We would highly recommend them & will use them again in future if we ever move. Thanks so much from happy house sellers & buyers.
Mr & Mrs Fairbairn - Apr 5th, 2022

Faultless Service

A big thank you to David Vawdrey and his team for there hard work and tenacity to get my flat rented to quickly and at such a great price. Nothing was too much for the team to deal with and I am very grateful to them for looking after the process so well. I would give them 6 stars if I could and would encourage anyone looking to rent a flat in Chichester to use Sims Williams, and David Vawdrey in particular.
Alex - Landlord - Apr 22nd, 2022

Wonderful Service

After being told probate should be granted on the property within 12 weeks, it has been quite a shock to have finally received the keys a year later. This challenging year was only made easier by the constant support and help from Karen and the Sims Williams team. I'm not sure I could have hung on so long without their wonderful assistance.
George - Buyer - Feb 6th, 2023

Excellent service from the Arundel offfice.

All the staff in the Arundel office were very professional, friendly and easily contactable. It can be a stressful time selling a house but Helena and Lynn were very reassuring and chased up any queries promptly and efficiently. From the valuation by Tamsin to the viewings by Helena and the ongoing following of the chain by Helena and Lynn we felt they were completely in control and very enthusiastic about our house and the sale. We would highly recommend them to anyone.
Mr & Mrs Osment - Vendor - Mar 13th, 2021


MIKE - Tenant - Jan 25th, 2020


Excellent service. Highly recommended.
Tessa F - Landlord - Dec 16th, 2020

Excellent Service

Congratulations to Mike and his team in Chichester. Good local knowledge supported by a professional sales team resulted in a successful sale.
Mr Bailey - Vendor - Oct 17th, 2022

Thanks for everything!

Team Sims Williams, Thank you so much for a thoroughly professional, efficient and effective service. I don't think we'd have got over the line without you. It was the second time we've purchased through SW and I'd be happy to use you again.
Matt - Buyer - Oct 6th, 2021


Right from the word go Sara, Linda and the team provided a very efficient, professional and friendly service. Never too busy to answer questions and kept me well informed of progress through to completion. Would highly recommend their service. Thank you.
Natasha M - Vendor - Dec 9th, 2020

Excellent service

Been dealing with you now for over 2 years and you always provide an excellent service both to the tenant and myself, the landlord.
Phillip - Landlord - Mar 6th, 2023