David Williams, Director at Grantley Estate Agents in Guildford, answers questions about the property market in Surrey; the outlook is brighter than you might think.
How has lockdown affected people’s buying habits? The need for space, a good garden and a spare room or garden cabin to use as a home office are definitely at the top of a buyer’s list of requirements. The country market is probably the strongest it has been in terms of activity for at least the last ten years – we are almost back to the same level of activity as prior to the financial crisis.
This surge is driven predominantly by people recognising that, as they spend more time in their family homes and in some instances with several generations returning to the family homestead, whether that’s working from home or general day-to-day, they need more space – both inside and out.
What does that mean for the local property market? There has been an influx of people who live in Guildford Town Centre looking to move out to the surrounding villages. Furthermore, as working habits change and commuting is no longer as necessary as it was due to the evolvement of video conferencing systems and more adaptable home working setups, we are seeing a huge surge in families from London looking for that country retreat. We have seen a 40-45% increase in enquiries from London buyers compared with this time last year.
There has been a considerable amount of pent up frustration over the past three years, mainly down to political uncertainty and Brexit indecision causing a loss of confidence that was felt across the property markets. Many people have been sitting in rented accommodation, waiting for the market to settle and an increase in suitable housing stock. Due in part to the pandemic, those families have now decided that if they are going to move, then it should be for a better quality of life and with a renewed sense of urgency.
Why is now such a good time to sell? We have seen buyer demand rise by 34% from January this year to now, compared with the same period in 2019. Furthermore, it currently takes 31% less time to sell a house than it did pre-lockdown*. Demand continues to outstrip supply meaning now is an excellent opportunity to capitalise on that to achieve the best price, before the full impact of the pandemic comes to the fore, which could see an adjustment in prices and activity levels.
Why use Grantley? We are specialists in the country market – from listed buildings and period, country cottages to properties with equestrian facilities and large country estates; we offer a completely tailored approach. Each and every property we market is carefully staged before our lifestyle photography team go in, each brochure is built specifically to the house as are the targeted social media campaigns. We believe that every property is unique and as such demands a tailored marketing approach rather than a standard template that you are expected to fit within. We are trusted property advisors, and regularly work with other agents to source properties in a buying agent capacity. As we are also a large property management company, we have access to a range of trades and services meaning we can help prepare your home ready for market or attend to any maintenance jobs you require before survey.
Grantley’s services include residential sales and lettings, property management, land and new homes. If you’re looking to sell your home or just need some advice, please contact David Williams on 01483 407620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.