What 2023 holds for the West Sussex Property Market

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Home-movers were on their toes in 2022, quick to snap up their dream south coast home. The south coast property market continued to boom over the year, only showing signs of change toward the latter part of the year.

After a very busy couple of years with demand rising and house prices on the up, we expect this year to be a bit steadier. Overall, UK house prices are predicted to fall by an average of 5% next year. But in more affordable areas, we might not see too much of a change.

In a wildly competitive marketplace, the next 12 months will be about timing and finding value for money. Here, we take a look through some of the key things to watch out for in 2023.

Waiting on interest rates

Figures show that many people are ready to strike – but might be waiting on interest rates. Four in ten first-time buyers with plans to buy have already got their deposit ready.

The latest thinking from experts is that interest rates will continue to rise in 2023 – with the Bank of England base rate potentially peaking at around 4.5% in the summer. It may take some time to come back down again, so if you think you’ve found your dream property, act now to secure a better rate from lenders.

The Bank of England announces any interest rate rises following their regular meetings, which take place every six weeks. Some dates for your diary:

• 2 February
• 23 March
• 11 May
• 22 June
• 3 August
• 21 September
• 2 November
• 14 December

Support for buyers

There’s some welcome news for buyers, though. The government’s 95% mortgage scheme has been extended until December 2023, which means home-movers can buy a home with just a 5% deposit on homes worth up to £600,000.

The scheme can be used by first-time buyers and people wanting to trade up the property ladder on newbuild or existing properties – but the home must be bought with a repayment mortgage, not an interest-only mortgage.

What’s more, the stamp duty cut has been extended until April 2025, meaning nobody will pay the tax on homes worth up to £250,000 and first-time buyers won’t pay it on homes worth up to £425,000.

Generation rent needs to be quick off the mark

With the interest rates rising steadily over the last 12 months, people eager to move are turning to the rental market as an alternative. According to Rightmove, rental enquiries shot up by 23% last year. But with fewer rental properties available, people will need to act fast to secure a property they’re interested in.

Character properties v modern features

While it’s lovely to look at a 200-year-old cottage in the country, it’s sometimes not practical to live in – especially with energy bills as they are.

Research by Help me Fix shows that almost three-quarters of homeowners see energy efficiency as a key driver in their search for a new property.

Good solid insulation, often more prevalent in newer properties, is key to any energy-efficient home, but added features like solar panels and renewable heating systems may also play a part in the modern-day search. All-time online searches for ‘solar panels’ peaked in August last year, so we expect the hunt for added value to continue in 2023.

Flats and apartments – which are usually cheaper to run – are likely to see a rise in demand, too.

City living making a comeback

The pandemic saw a big retreat into the countryside, with remote working on the rise. Now, as employers move to a more hybrid approach, people are reassessing their options.

Affordable areas within commuting distance to cities are likely to make a comeback in popularity in 2023. As this trend sets in, it’ll be important to show south coast homes off to their potential, with features like home offices, good networks, and transport links key. For some handy tips, read our blog about how to attract the modern homebuyer.

Downsizing to beat inflation

With some homeowners feeling the squeeze, it might be time to loosen the purse strings by downsizing to free up some cash. This will particularly suit empty nesters with too much space on their hands.

Sims Williams are independent estate and letting agents with offices covering Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and The Six Villages. Thinking about selling up this year? Sell your home with us.

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I would like to say I was very happy with the service I received from Sims Williams and would highly recommend you to anyone selling, or indeed buying a property. I was always able to speak to someone in person whenever I had a query or question. The staff are all friendly, knowledgeable and efficient which made the whole process of buying and selling less stressful. Having a named professional as a primary contact was really reassuring. Calum was always aware of and managing any glitches even before I knew about them. He communicated well with my solicitor and made sure I was up to date at all times. He was also very good at explaining parts of the process I didn’t understand. I will definitely be using your team again in the future for buying, selling or renting out.
Louise - Buyer - Apr 29th, 2022

Thank you

Sims Williams (Chichester)have recently found new tenants for our property in Chichester. As ever the team were a pleasure to work with.They are efficient and professional to work with on every level. Thank you
Fiona - Landlord - Jun 1st, 2021

Fantastic service!

Branch Manager Jo was absolutely brilliant; Helpful, thorough, professional, and friendly. The process was quick and I was kept up to date on the process. Everyone at the Chichester and Walberton office who were involved in the letting were so kind and I can't thank you all enough. 5 star customer service. Highly recommend sims Williams.
Mia - Tenant - Mar 8th, 2023

Seamless from beginning to end!

Selling our parents house was a daunting prospect so we have to thank the team at the Sims Williams Bognor Office who really did make it as pain free as it could possibly be! From the valuation to the open day and right through the sales process, John and his team kept us informed and nothing was too much trouble. Having bought and sold property before, we both know that’s not always the case and, in this instance where we were acting on behalf of family, it was doubly important to get it right so we can’t thank John and his team enough enough for their professionalism and help. We would happily recommend their service to anyone looking for that same support. Thank you!
Carol- Vendor - Jun 13th, 2022

TRUSTING AN ESTATE AGENT? SURELY NOT!!

Have dealt with Sims Williams before when buying my house and it all went well. So, when it came to selling a property, I knew I'd get the same professional (but human!) service. Many thanks to the team in the Walberton branch for getting things over the line. Special thanks to Lin who is great and such a valuable asset to the process/team. Cheers.
Mr H - Vendor - Dec 10th, 2020

Always Helpful

We have been very happy with the Arundel Office who helped us consistently with the numerous problems that came up with the purchase of our wonderful new home. Particular mention needs to go to Emma for her constant endeavours to sort things out, and Tamsin waiting outside the office to hand over the keys at the eleventh hour. Thank you all.
Hilary - Buyer - Mar 23rd, 2021