Hidden Sussex – let’s keep it our little secret….

Rupert Coles

East and West Sussex have many hidden gems, it’s the first ‘real’ bit of countryside outside London. A place where you feel you have really escaped the city and the landscape changes. Sussex has always been quietly fashionable and its combination of convenience and privacy is one of the reasons many celebrities have based themselves here, to gain some escapism whilst still being connected to the capital.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles are one of Sussex’s best features. Access to Gatwick and fast trainlinks into Victoria and the city make life easy here for many. Although having an awareness of Gatwick’s expansion plans and future road upgrades is critical to ensure you don’t purchase a house that might be blighted in the future.

The way people work is changing, with many choosing to work a day or two from home and these buyers can often compromise on proximity to stations which can open up options and pricing points when it comes to looking for a new home. For these people, having a good broadband connection is vital. In fact, Strutt & Parker’s Housing Futures survey revealed that up to one-third of people would consider moving home if it meant they would have access to a considerable boost in broadband connectivity in their new property. Super-fast broadband is rolling out slowly in Sussex - but interestingly a few mobile providers are looking at installing 4G hotspots, which might create a property hotspot in its own right.

Sussex’s beautiful backdrop of the newest National Park, the South Downs, is a real pull. We know this green lung is now protected for the future and frames many stunning vistas. Views of open countryside are important and a deal breaker for many, but prospective buyers should always be aware about what might pop up in their view in the future. It pays to do your research. Outside protected areas development pressure is building and an awareness of this is crucial in order to make well informed property decisions.

Spring has been late to arrive this year, but now the clocks have gone forward sellers and buyers seem to be putting their best foot forward. Stock levels are low and agents are fighting for instructions, while the market is adjusting to a new Stamp Duty Land Tax regime. Let’s hope we have a year where people get moving and the market starts trading more healthily again.

The intensity of the property matrix is beating faster and faster – the commute, outstanding schools, extra taxation, broadband, proximity to airports, pricing, proportions, running costs, potential to extend, protected areas, off-market properties… It can be a lot to take in as there is so much to consider. This is where an experienced, dedicated buying agent comes in. I live it and breathe it for my clients.

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