What’s your patch like?
Winchester is a small city, the ancient capital of England. It’s historic and beautiful with lots of very attractive old buildings, and the magnificent Norman cathedral attracts lots of visitors, so it’s a busy, lively place.
Why should people think about moving to Winchester?
The area is popular for its excellent state schools and private schools too, including of course Winchester college, where our Prime Minister famously went. Plus it’s easy to commute to London in just over an hour. People move here from the capital when they have children and then commute in – or these days maybe even not commute. We’re a 20-minute drive from Southampton too, so the coast is easy to reach. It’s a compact city surrounded by beautiful countryside, attractive villages – and we do business in the villages as well.
What kind of housing stock is there in various areas?
In the old parts of Winchester there are Roman ruins as well as Tudor buildings; most of the central housing stock is Georgian. There are lots of Victorian and Edwardian family homes in some of the most popular areas such as Hyde and Fulflood, and then there’s some 30s-50s housing stock too slightly further out, along with some modern developments on the outskirts.
Price-wise, it’s about £300,000 for a two bed flat, and you can get a four bed Victorian semi for between £800,000 and £1.2m in a desirable part of town. Prices go down the further out you go. Detached four bedroom houses are quite rare, so they go for £1 million plus. You can get a two or three bedroom terraced period house for somewhere between £500,000 and £800,000.
How's the local property market performing at the moment?
The last year has been tricky, shall we say. There haven’t been enough buyers or vendors, so in sales there has been very little activity and prices have stayed flat or dipped. However, lettings are really buoyant, with increased rents and prices. We’ve had growing stock over the last two or three months with prices growing steadily – rents are 10-15% higher than they were a year or 18 months ago. As costs have increased, it’s been a struggle for tenants, but landlords’ costs have gone up too.
There was a spate of landlords selling because they can’t see it work in their favour any more - but that has slowed now and some landlords have changed their minds about selling up as rents have got stronger.
What advice would you give to sellers?
Be realistic. If you’re selling to buy on, then remember that agreeing to sell for less will be reflected in your purchase too. It’s important to focus on the differential, not just the sales price.
What trends are you seeing among buyers and sellers?
As ever we have a steady influx from London. Also a lot of buyers from Hong Kong, and China. Winchester has a lot of Chinese students in its two universities: Winchester University and its Art College that’s part of Southampton university, so we see lots of parents buying property for students. There’s also a large international contingent at Winchester College, so the area is attractive to parents from Asia. A big pattern.
What are your predictions for 2023/2024?
My feeling is that things will be relatively quiet for the rest of this hear then with better news on mortgages next year we’ll see a much stronger sales market f rom the beginning of next year. That sometimes has a detrimental effect on lettings but we think it’ll stay steady. There was a period of only cash buyers, but mortgages are back now.
We’re already starting to see better mortgage deals and the start of renewed interest in the wake of that.
Current best buys
This spacious detached house in Harestock Road, Winchester, has five bedrooms and three receptions, plus a large study, playroom and a double garage, making it an excellent family home. There’s an impressive kitchen/diner/family room with high quality fixtures and fittings, and the house is well located for the train station and city centre. It’s on the market with Winkworth Winchester 01962 866777 for £1.295m.