Lomond Insights: Sussex property market Q3 review
As we leave summer and head towards what is typically the busiest time of the year in the Sussex property market, we look back at the trends and statistics of 2023's third quarter. Property prices continue to change, and the levelling out of interest rates have seen varying moods in the property market.
As economic uncertainty eases, we are seeing an increase in people dipping their toe into the water and getting market appraisals.
Across Sussex, we see a good mix of first-time buyers, home movers, and downsizers actively seeking properties. Newly-launched properties are attracting interest leading to offers, with the majority of sales agreed within 5% of the initial sales price1.
There is still activity and properties are moving but tends to be needs-based moves that are fuelling the market. We are seeing an increase in cash buyers, who generally are looking for larger discounts, although buyers and sellers are typically well aligned.
Location and access to amenities continue to rank highly in a buyer's decision-making process, although many are also looking at condition with ell-looked-after and energy-efficient properties remaining popular as the year progresses.
Sellers are increasingly aware that buyers are price sensitive, and the best performing properties are the ones priced right from day one.
Paul Broomham, Chief Executive Officer, summarised: “With interest and mortgage rates stablising, we are entering a market where people know where they stand and are less likely to have to overstretch.”
In an ever-evolving market, we have seen a move from short-term holiday rentals back to longer-term lets. With the world open once more, demand for short term lets in Brighton has softened and landlords are looking to gain a more stable and consistent income, often in the student market.
Average revenue for short-term lets in Brighton and Hove was down 4% over the last year, and the average occupancy rate 3% lower in the same period (AirDNA). For those remaining in the sector there are gains to be made, but in a hyper-competitive market the property must be well presented.
Properties in our rental market continue to be let very quickly. Although rental values are growing, the rate of growth is starting to soften, as rents are reaching the affordability ceiling for those who have hard budgets and are willing to wait longer for a suitable property within budget.
We have also seen a recent increase in churn, marginally increasing supply, as renters are revaluating if their current let is too indulgent in today’s market.
Accommodation is massively undersupplied for Brighton’s student population of nearly 50,000 students and growing. Although 4 and 5-bedroom HMOs are the most common, there is a growing market for 1 and 2-bedroom flats, popular with international students.
Rents in our student market have increased by 16% since the start of the 2021 academic year. Strong yields are there for well-presented properties. There has been an increasing appetite for bills-inclusive, and committed fixed packages, safeguarding the concern of more money being asked for if fuel prices rise, a trend we expect to see continue.
HOW WE PERFORMED IN Q2
Despite changes in both the sales and lettings markets across Yorkshire, our teams of property experts continue to deliver brilliant service to our thousands of customers.
While we continue our efforts to grow the company even further, our teams produced the following numbers in Q3:
SALES (per branch)
- 44 new instructions
- 204 applicants
- 29 contract exchanges
- 5 applicants per property
LETTINGS (per branch)
- 24 new instructions
- 481 applicants
- 20 applicants per property
- 69 new tenancies agreed
You can read the full summary of the Sussex property market below, or click here to learn how Lomond is transforming the UK property market, notably in the investment sector.