Date Published 01 October 2018
I was recently reading a report by Rightmove that a North South Divide has started to appear in the UK property market – so I wanted to see if Worthing was falling in line with that. In the North, there are 7.12% less properties on the market than 12 months ago, whilst in contrast, in the South, there are 14.7% more properties on the market than 12 months ago.
With the decline in the number of properties for sale in the North compared to 12 months ago, that means the North is more of a sellers' market. However, on the other side of the coin, there is a significant rise in buyer choice in all of the Southern regions, showing there are signs of a buyers' market, which in some markets is a driving force for a buyers' market and some downward price pressure.
So, let's look closer to home at asking prices and the number of homes on the market. In the South East region, according to Rightmove, the average asking prices of properties new to the market are 1.2% higher than 12 months ago and 0.1% higher over the last month. Now I must stress, this is asking prices – not what is happening to actual property values. Also, regionally, there are 20% more properties on the market than 12 months ago.
Even closer to home, overall, the number of properties and building plots for sale in Worthing has increased by 17%, going from 1,092 properties for sale a year ago to 1,281 properties for sale as I write this article, meaning Worthing does in fact match the regional trend.
Looking at the individual types of property in Worthing, you can quite clearly see the different markets within the area. The two sets of figures that stand out are the increase in Apartments for sale, rising 51% and Terraced/town houses having no movement at 0%.
However, these figures don't tell the whole story because in certain pockets of Worthing there are particular types of properties (specific locations and Primary school catchment areas) that are in short supply. This has caused some frustration with buyers of those types of properties because with this lack of supply, which in turn has sparked some very localised asking price growth within those hot spot areas, some sellers optimism turns into silly over the top asking prices.
This means the property sticks and as a consequence there are certain parts of the Worthing housing market with upward asking price movements being offset in part by intermittent asking price reductions because home owners, or their estate agents, have been over optimistic with their initial asking price.
What does this mean for homeowners and landlords in Worthing?
If you are planning to sell your home or buy to let investment, the key for determined sellers is to set your asking price correctly from the start. It is vital to be competitive to attract buyers. Everyone has access to two main property portals (Rightmove and Zoopla) so can easily compare your property against similar ones. When you search these portals, make sure you ask the website to show properties that are sold subject to contract as well to check what properties are selling in your neighbourhood. Unless you have something highly unusual or unique this, perhaps, isn't the best market to set an optimistic asking price in the hope of finding someone willing to pay a silly price.
And if you are buying in Worthing? The numbers of buyers are lower than a few years ago, although those buyers that are in the market have become quite serious. The era of time wasting 'carpet treaders' (estate agency slang for the same type of people car dealers call tyre kickers) are long gone. Those buyers that are in the market are real buyers, wanting to buy, but only at the right price. We live in a 21st century society that is 'time-poor' so nobody wants to even view a house, let alone pay over the odds, if they believe the asking price is too high. So, if you are buying, do your homework, ask plenty of questions of the agent, find out the motivation of the sellers and the real reasons behind why they are moving and you might just bag a good deal.
All the best