Buyer demand remains higher for houses than flats in West Sussex due to Covid-19

Covid-19 continues to fuel demand for larger homes and more outdoor space in West Sussex according to recent research by PropCast, with 80% of houses for sale under offer or subject to contract, compared to 57% for flats.


The findings form part of a nationwide report, where the house selling weather forecast analysed buyer demand across England to see what percentage of houses and flats for sale were being snapped up, and how that differed between the number of bedrooms. Across England, on average 73% of houses for sale are under offer or subject to contract – substantially higher than the figure for flats (43%). Three-bedroom houses are in most demand at 76%, followed by two-beds (75%), four plus-beds (69%) and one-beds (62%). Meanwhile, one-bedroom flats are the lowest in demand at 44% – most likely due to not having a garden and with limited space indoors – along with three-bedroom flats. Flats with two-bedrooms are sought after the most (50%), followed by four-plus beds (39%).


I absolutely agree with these findings at Property Acquisitions. Houses will always be the most obvious choice for families relocating out of London to West Sussex, but what has been interesting to see is a shift in what my downsizer clients are looking for. Previously, a two-three bed apartment within the city/ on the outskirts would have been at the top of their wish lists but now they want to tick the same boxes a post-Covid family buyer wants. Ie larger homes, gardens, luxurious kitchens and bathrooms, potential for office space and outdoor entertaining options. The enquiries I have received over the last year from those looking to downsize are either centred around a village cottage or a substantially sized flat within a country house which boasts impressive landscaped grounds and wrap around balconies or terraces. They want somewhere they can really enjoy being at home with friends and family given they’ve spent so much time cooped up on their own at home over the last year.


Gavin Brazg, Founder of PropCast provides some good tips for those who are trying to sell their flat in the current market… “Over the last year, we can see buyer demand has grown to record high levels across West Sussex, and we don’t expect these elevated levels of buyer demand to peter out anytime soon. However, it’s clear to see that if you’re trying to sell a flat at the moment with minimal to no outdoor space, it is going to be harder to find a buyer quickly. My advice would be to look at the situation as if you are in a buyers’ market, which is a time where you have to change your selling strategy in order to achieve the best possible price and fast. The best way to strengthen your position is to price conservatively from the start and choose a local, trusted estate agent who truly knows the market and how best to position your home within it.”


The overall property market in West Sussex

Overall, according to PropCast, buyer demand in West Sussex has continued to grow since the pandemic began, with buyer demand up 95% – indicating a very hot sellers’ market. This is especially true in areas which offer a rural lifestyle and large family homes. The popular coastal postcode districts in and around Chichester – where Property Acquisitions source properties for clients – have experienced a staggering increase. For example, PO18 (to include Bosham) has seen an 89% rise in property sales, whilst demand has risen 86% in PO20 (to include Itchenor and West Wittering). Meanwhile rural villages that sit between Midhurst and Petworth (GU28), such as Lodsworth, Graffham and Lurgashall, have seen a growth of 66% – somewhere I am very active at the moment with my clients.


I am experiencing one of the busiest years I have ever encountered in the villages in and around Chichester, Midhurst and Petworth, especially in the Lodsworth, Graffham and Selham areas where I have had more interest here in the last twelve months than I have in fifteen years! Buyers have been making offers left right and centre during the pandemic, with almost all of these deals happening off-market, within days. Without a doubt, COVID-19 has changed people’s mindsets; not just for now but for the long-term too. They’re re-evaluating what they want in life, and where they want to be. The relaxed, rural setting that provides a variety of lifestyle-enhancing options. Prices are rising as a result, especially in the golden villages, which offer a good pub, shop, have a village fete and cricket green and so on, almost stepping back in time. I believe this momentum will continue throughout 2021 and into 2022, and over the long-term country houses in this area should continue to appreciate with their prices remaining high.


Find out more

For any questions about finding your dream home (whether that’s a house or apartment) in and around any of these locations, please do get in touch with myself, Jennie Hancock, via e-mail (, phone (+44 7776452128), or LinkedIn.