What you need to know if you plan on buying Surrey property in 2019

PUBLISHED: 15:22 17 January 2019


As we begin 2019, many of us will be making plans for the coming year. No doubt those who have been considering selling and buying property, whether they have their eye on their dream home or wish to make an investment purchase, will be thinking about if this might be the year that they take the plunge

In the media there is perennial negativity surrounding high stamp duty, an apparent slow market and, of course, concern about Brexit.

Indeed, it is not easy to get a sale or purchase over the line at the moment - buyers, solicitors and lenders are very cautious, and the number and types of enquiries being raised during the due diligence process is becoming more and more demanding.

That aside, we have found client activity levels have been about the same over the last year.

People will always need to move, whether for positive reasons, or due to one or more of the ‘three Ds’: divorce, death and debt. Accordingly a number of our clients have ultimately decided that they are fed up with waiting for, for example, stamp duty rates to improve and have moved, factoring the stamp duty bill into their budget.

Certainly, the current acute volatility around Brexit won’t help dispel any unease but if you are nervously thinking about putting your property on the market then some comfort maybe found in reports issued by some of Surrey’s key agents over the last six months.

Strutt and Parker’s Focus on Guildford: says that the average value of properties is up by 4.7 per cent on 2017, which compares favourably with a national average of 1.6 percent.

Savills reported in late October that it expects prices to increase in 2019 and ‘current market conditions’ will continue during the Brexit negotiations and beyond.

In a separate report published in November, Lucian Cook of Savills stated that the legacy of the global financial crisis, combined with gradually rising interest rates, will ‘limit house price growth, but ‘should also protect the market from a correction’.

Curchods talk about the Surrey market in its Autumn 2018 Property Market Update and confirms that ‘the price of a property is the most important aspect to get right’ and that ‘the market is by no means dead’.

If you are considering purchasing a property as an investment, it would be prudent to first take tax advice to ensure that the figures stack up, but in terms of having confidence to proceed with a purchase it is interesting to note that Knight Frank’s Guildford Lettings Market Insight Report - 2018 showed average rents across the home counties rising in the first three months of the year.

So, if you are inclined to ‘get on with it’ and take that plunge in 2019, take some comfort that all is not doom and gloom.

Clare Dove is a senior associate in the Guildford office of Top 50 Law firm Penningtons Manches and has worked for the last 15 years for clients selling and buying properties in Surrey and the South East. Tel: 01483 791859 Email: clare.dove@penningtons.co.uk

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