Agent Insight: James Quantrell of Winkworth in Guildford
This week, our focus turns to the thriving Surrey residential sales and letting market. We catch up with James Quantrell of Winkworth in Guildford to get the lowdown on what to watch out for in 2015.
Could you please give us a brief introduction to the property market in Guildford?
Guildford has a strong selection of different property types across a significant price range. Nestled in the lush Surrey countryside but within easy commuting distance to London, it’s easy to see why the town is such a desirable and sought-after location. Guildford boasts excellent shops, some of the best schools in the country, top notch eateries and a varied nightlife and cultural scene.
What types of property is Guildford known for?
Guildford and its surrounding villages offer homes to suit every taste, from pretty period houses and cottages in villages such as Shere, Shamley Green, Puttenham, Shalford, Wonersh and Hascombe to cottages and larger Victorian houses in the Charlotteville, Warren Road and Waterden Road conservation areas.
You’ll also find 1920s homes in Ganghill, lovely Victorian homes close to the town centre and train station, 1950s, 60s and 70s homes in Burpham and Merrow, and more modern infill developments throughout the town.
What types of properties do you sell and let?
At Winkworth we sell the more desirable properties, including everything from exclusive one-bedroom apartments to an eight-bedroom country home with 20 acres of land.
How much do properties typically cost to buy and rent?
House prices in Guildford generally start from £400,000 for a two-bedroom home. On the lettings side, properties start from about £1,200 per month for a one- or two-bedroom apartment.
What are the current market trends in Guildford?
A third of buyers above the £1.5 million mark come from London, with international buyers only making up 5% of the market. Most of the local buyers have come from London in the past and have been here for a few years.
Local Guildfordians are starting to move out towards Godalming, Cranleigh and further afield. Upsizing here accounts for 55% of the market, with just 8% of buyers downsizing. Based on data since 2012, properties priced £750,000-£1.5 million make up 54% of the market.
Which areas in and around the town are particularly popular at the moment?
The roads to the south of the town centre with views over Pewley Hill and Pewley Common are the most desirable - particularly Warwicks Bench and Warwicks Bench Road. These rarely come up, and when they do we normally sell them for above market value within days.
Where should investors be looking to buy property?
Investors should look to Victorian properties within walking distance of the train station. These types of homes normally rent out for over £1,500 per month, giving good yields and capital growth.
What do you expect to see happen in the local market during 2015?
I expect to see steady price increases at a similar level to those last year. As the London market cools, Guildford will get more expensive. Buyers want more value for money and don’t mind the commute to London as long as they are within the ‘golden hour’. The great private and state schools here, combined with the A3 road to London and the coast makes Guildford a number one choice for many buyers moving out of the city.