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Property Market Review For Guildford And Godalming

Posted 20 May 2021 by Keith Osborne

Expert local estate agent Lynne Dyer talks about the recent property market in the sought-after Surrey towns...

Lynne Dyer, founder of the Guildford and Godalming estate agency that bears her name, reviews the last three months of the local property market.

“I’m sure I’m not the first to say that the speed with which properties are selling is truly unprecedented. In my 25+ years in the property market, there have been other buoyant times but the current level of demand is exceptional. This is especially true given how COVID has challenged so many aspects of our lives; although at the same time, the pandemic has made many people take stock of their lifestyles and – unlike most New Year resolutions – they are taking real action and making changes.

“Apartments and houses are selling ‘off market’ and are being snapped up immediately by willing buyers prepared to pay over the asking price to reduce the chances of being gazumped by someone else. When properties are marketed openly – especially around the £500,000 to £1million mark – buyers are finding themselves in a bidding war and many homes are going to sealed bids/best and final offers.

“Many of the buyers I meet now are living in rented properties while they search for a new home. They have sold up in London and without the obligation of a daily commute anymore – even when COVID restrictions lift, they will work at least a couple of days a week from home – they are looking for a better quality of life for their family. The calibre of our schools, coupled with our fabulous countryside, have always been a big draw but now more so than ever. By selling up, they’re putting themselves in a more advantageous position for when they finally find the home they’re looking for. But as so many are finding, it’s not an easy task.

Lynne Dyer“While there is no doubt it’s a seller’s market at the moment, it’s not just about Londoners escaping the city looking for their dream home. Many people have experienced career upheavals during COVID and even among those who still have jobs, many have income uncertainties or are simply using the experience of the pandemic to make lifestyle changes. For instance, I have one client who is selling her home in Guildford and heading for the Derbyshire Dales in search of even greater open spaces; her work, now full-time from home, means she is no longer restricted by any commute and by her standards, even this part of West Surrey is not rural enough.

“I’m also seeing more people offloading apartments – whether buy-to-lets or simply second homes used by their children. Many owners are finding that the rewards no longer justify the stress, or the expense, of being a landlord and with the current demand for property, this is the time to sell especially if the children have finished university.

“While it is likely that things will quieten down as the Stamp Duty holiday draws to a close and the furlough scheme ends permanently, ultimately people always need to move home. Whatever the economy is doing, the reasons people move continue; whether it’s the three main drivers – marriage and starting a family, divorce or death - or other variables that come into play such as job relocations and general upsizing or downsizing as families grow or decrease.

“I expect to see a small lull in the market come autumn and as Christmas approaches. However, in the long-term, the pandemic has caused many people to review their housing and lifestyle choices; I think the exit from London will continue for some time and current residents of the area will continue to seek to improve the way they have been living – whether that is upsizing or downsizing and/or moving further into the countryside.”

Find out more at lynnedyer.propertynest.co.uk.

 

There are some delightful new build homes currently for sale in and around Guildford and Godalming. While these two well-served and -connected Surrey towns are so popular, it doesn’t mean that first-time buyers should feel excluded and believe it is totally unaffordable.

Home Reach is a scheme run by housing provider heylo in partnership with a number of housebuilders across England. Open to first-time buyers who meet the qualifying criteria, it’s a way of purchasing a share of their new home (usually starting at 50%) and paying a subsidised rent on the remainder. It’s their home, but the process requires a much smaller deposit and mortgage than purchasing outright. They can buy further shares as their budget allows, until they own 100%.

Heron HouseHeron House

Heron House is a collection of 45 apartments in a quiet corner of Godalming, just a stone’s throw from the River Wey and close to the town centre and railway station. Each apartment also comes with an allocated parking space, and there’s ample bicycle storage. The specification includes a full range of built-in appliances to the contemporary-styled kitchen and underfloor heating.

There’s currently one one-bedroom property priced at £160,000 for a 50% share (full market price £320,000) which will require a deposit of £8,000. There’s a two-bedroom home for sale and top-of-the-range is three-bedroom Plot 3 at £212,500 for a 50% shared (full market price £425,000). The large open-plan kitchen/dining/living room leads a balcony and the spacious master bedroom has an en suite shower room. Find out more about Heron House from Home Reach.

Also in Godalming, on the banks of the river and 15 minutes’ walk from the town centre, is a newly launched development from Crest Nicholson which offers a mix of 43 apartments and 37 houses. The designs at Catteshall Court are a modern twist on traditional styles from the area and come with up-to-date interiors and a high-quality standard specification. Houses all benefit from a private garden, while all apartments include their own balcony or terrace.

Catteshall CourtCatteshall Court

Eileen Guihen, sales and marketing director at Crest Nicholson South, commented: “We are excited to have launched this striking collection of homes at Catteshall Court for off-plan sales, with our show home available to view this summer. With so many different property options available, there really is something for every purchaser at every stage of life – from first-time buyers to expanding families.”

Prices at Catteshall Court currently start at £539,950 for a three-bedroom house and select properties will be available to purchase through the government’s relaunched Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme, or Crest Nicholson’s own Part Exchange and SmoothMove schemes. Find out more from Crest Nicholson.

Bargate House is an exclusive project by Clearview Developments comprising just six apartments in a characterful building with very easy reach on foot to the shops, amenities and stations of Guildford.

Bargate HouseBargate House

Four of the units have already been sold but there are still two available. Unit 1 is the largest in the building, a very spacious three-bedroom home taking up the whole of the lower ground floor. All the bedrooms are very large doubles and each has its own en suite shower or bathroom. Bedroom one has the bonus of a dressing area and generous built-in wardrobes. There’s an open-plan kitchen/dining/living room with feature bay window, and there’s a sizeable dedicated home office too – essential for many buyers these days. Unit 6 is the other one available and is the only home on the second floor. It comes with two double bedrooms, a family bathroom, open-plan living/dining room and separate kitchen, off which is a large private terrace.

Buyers can expect top-quality kitchen units, worktops and appliances, white sanitaryware and well-specified bathrooms/en suites, ultrafast broadband, Wi-Fi controllable radiators, bespoke lighting, and fitted parquet flooring and carpeting. Prices for these homes are £700,000 and £500,000 respectively. Find out more about Bargate house from Clearview Developments.

This summer, Runnymede Homes will be releasing the first homes at Alvaston, its development on Clandon Road. It comprises 14 one- and two-bedroom apartments, most of which have a private balcony or terrace and some of which will have townscape views. This site is less than half-a-mile from Guildford’s bustling cobbled High Street and just a two-minute walk from London Road train station.

AlvastonAlvaston

The building itself combines stepped and angular elevations and uses a range of materials, from mellow ochre brick, textures of pale render and warm shades of deep red zinc. Internally, the apartments have a range of layouts, but common to all is the open-plan kitchen/living/dining room as the hub of the home. Full-height windows bring in an abundance of natural light. There is lift and stairway ascend directly from the secure basement parking to each floor. The penthouse, with its large terraces and impressive views, has private lift access directly into the home. Prices will be released nearer launch. Find out more at runnymedehomes.co.uk.

Back in Godalming, Shanly Homes has seen 50% of its Amber Lodge development already sold but there are still seven two-bedroom apartments available, The homes come with open-plan kitchen/living/dining rooms, integrated Siemens/Zanussi appliances to the contemporary fitted kitchens, and bedrooms are spacious, with master suites benefitting from an en suite shower room, fitted wardrobes and dedicated dressing areas. Furthermore, all apartments are complete with allocated parking spaces and secure cycle storage.

Amber LodgeAmber Lodge

Greg Kaye, head of sales at Shanly Homes commented: “Amber Lodge is a fantastic collection of apartments. Thanks to its convenient location, buyers are able to walk into town in under five minutes, whilst river and woodland walks are all easily reachable.”

Amber Lodge is just a nine-minute walk from Godalming station, from where residents can easily reach London Waterloo (50 minutes) and Guildford (six minutes). The M25 is just a 20-minute drive away via the A3 providing easy access to Gatwick Airport and the surrounding areas. Prices range from £400,000 to £499,995. Find out more at www.shanlyhomes.com.

 

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A Guide To Part Buy Part Rent
Part Rent Part Buy is a scheme you can use with Home Reach where you buy a share of your chosen newly built home and pay a monthly rent on the part you don’t buy. Find your part buy part rent house today!

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