The waterside villages in and around Chichester are hugely popular with walkers, cyclists, families and those who enjoy sailing, paddleboarding, kite surfing and so on. However, it’s not just a playground for holidaymakers…
Half of the enquiries I have received at Property Acquisitions since the global pandemic began have been from those seeking these waterside locations. Many of them have been cooped up in their homes during the last twelve months – whether working or home schooling (even both!) – so Covid-19 has fuelled the desire even further for a gentler pace of life on a more permanent basis.
Various evidence suggests living by the sea can actually have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and with many stretches of water in and around Chichester, there are plenty of spots to relax and unwind. Without a doubt, living here taps into our basic senses, creating a feeling of tranquillity and escapism for anybody… from watching gentle waves rolling into shore or hearing the wind chiming concerts of ropes clinking against sailing boat masts, to enjoying the smell of fresh clean sea air.
As a result, property buyers are prepared to pay a premium, especially in the more popular locations with the focus very much being around having a good sea view or direct access to the water, rather than square footage. There are a variety of properties to suit all budgets however, from as low as half a million up into the millions.
Here are some of my favourite waterside hotspots for buyers…
East and West Wittering are home to stunning unspoilt coastline. West Wittering is notorious for its long golden sandy beach, popular with runners and dogs walkers as well as those just wanting to lay down and relax by the sea. On calm days, you’ll find the beautiful blue waters dotted with paddle boarders, kayaks and families splashing about in the shallow waters, whilst kite surfers and wind surfers flock when the wind picks up. It’s also incredibly clean being a Blue Flag beach, views are to die for whether the tide is in or out and in the carpark there is The Beach Café which has a superb reputation for its food, drinks and staff. Meanwhile East Wittering has a thriving local community and offers residents a variety of independent shops cafés, and a pretty shingle beach.
The most sought after properties are the large-detached houses dotted along East Strand and West Strand, which rarely come up for sale because they tend to go from generation to generation. Generally, the original owners would have bought these in the 1950’s most likely for under £50,000. Commanding panoramic views over the Solent with direct access to the beach in front, and being so rare, these sell for around £3-£5m if not more now.
Itchenor is a very pretty sailing village famed for its yachting facilities, the world renowned Itchenor Sailing Club, and its harbour. A popular hotspot is The Quarterdeck Café behind The Street, which a lot of the locals use when they sail, whilst Andy at the Itchenor Ferry is also a key part of the village. He runs his ferry and water taxi services regularly, linking Itchenor to the footpaths over at Bosham, or he will take you to your boat on the moorings.
In terms of the housing market, there are many picturesque Sussex cottages, but there tends to be a huge premium on the plot value with views and water access all high priority. For example, I recently went to sealed bids on a £3.5million property which was being sold off-market on one of the village’s most sought after waterside addresses. It came with a jetty and stunning water views but needed updating, and all of the interested parties were cash buyers. All represented by buying agents, the property sold well over the asking price. If you have a lower budget however, then it is possible to buy houses close to the water on The Street in Itchenor. These tend to be terraced houses ranging from £900,000 for something that needs some work, up to £1.5million.
The waters of Bosham sit between two tidal creeks and are very popular with sailors, migrating wildfowl, as well as those who enjoy their sunsets and walks too. Many feel Bosham still has an enchanting old world feel to it, and it is arguably one of the prettiest Harbour villages. There are some excellent tea rooms and some great independent shops within Bosham Walk. One of my favourite pubs is The Anchor Bleu – a 300 year old building which overlooks the water and offers an exquisite alfresco dining setting. This area has become a very popular place for people to live, in fact, one of our colleagues is building a house here now as we speak!
The main coastal address is Bosham Hoe. A large proportion of people are permanent residents, but there are still small cottages occupied by weekenders from London, which cost between £800,000 – £1million. You can also find lower prices further down the lane in a quiet cul de sac called Tuffs Hard. Here there are semi and detached 1950’s houses with nice gardens, garages and water views for around £950,000/£1million. These rarely come to market however and are like gold dust for weekenders in particular, as they’re ripe for renovation.
Church Norton is a secluded spot that’s a part of Pagham Harbour, offering a quieter pace of life and better value per square foot when purchasing property. People like it here because there’s a lot less traffic, plus it boasts a quiet shingle beach and a small church enriched in history which is thoroughly enjoyed by walkers and birdwatchers due to its rural peaceful setting.
Properties rarely come to market in Church Norton, so buyers will pay a premium to live here. Typically, homes vary from a farm cottage and a modern 80’s home to a stunning Georgian house, so there is something for everyone. Prices start from approximately £500,000 and can go up into the millions.
Birdham is another popular sailing village, where you will find a number of boats moored at Chichester Yacht Basin and Birdham Pool – the largest purpose built marina in Chichester Harbour. There are some lovely walks on the Manhood Peninsula whilst the village boasts a cricket club (Stirlands), Birdham Animal Feeds which specialises in raw dog food and natural treats, and Birdham Stores.
On the way into the village is Church Lane there are a variety of 1950’s, 1980’s and period houses, with prices starting from around half a million. Lock Lane and Martins Lane are closer to the water where you’re probably looking at around £1million plus for a property, whilst Westlands Estate sit right on the water, comprising of small bungalows ripe for renovation up to large detached houses. Depending on what you are buying, homes here could cost anything from £1million -£3million plus.
Dell Quay is a very quiet and tiny village nestled deep within Chichester Harbour. It has a great sailing club offering a relaxed, friendly feel as well as the Crown and Anchor pub which sits right on the water’s edge and is renowned for producing exceptional food. Dell Quay is often a pit stop for walkers due to its surrounding footpaths, as well as those crabbing from the quay at high tide.
For any questions about finding your dream rural or coastal home in and around Chichester with Property Acquisitions, please do get in touch with Jennie Hancock via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (+44 7776452128), or LinkedIn.