Surrey house prices close to record highs

11/04/2024
(Last Updated: 30/04/2024)
58
11 min read

Average Sale Price

£500,300
(January)

Price Growth

-3.5%
(YoY to January)

Best Growth YoY

Woking & Mole Valley
(+0.6% & +0.2%)

Least Growth YoY

Runnymede & Surrey Heath
(-8.1 & -6.6%)
Key Takeaways
  • House prices in Surrey are falling short-term but have risen long-term.
  • Spelthorne is the most affordable district in the Surrey housing market, followed by Surrey Heath.
  • Property in Surrey is worth 70% more than the national average for England & Wales.


Aerial panorama of Surrey showing Guildford and the cathedral. SAM Conveyancing's report on the Surrey Housing Market

Worst November on record for Surrey

Sales volume in Surrey fell to 681. November is typically a quieter month for property sales in the approach to Christmas; this particular November was the worst since records began in 1995. In fact, sales volume has only ever fallen below these levels twice. For two months, following the economic crash of 2008/2009 and for two months, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Official Land Registry data is published with a slight delay, so while we expect that the numbers for December will be similarly poor, we have seen sales volume rise significantly in the first quarter of this year and are happy to report that the market is very much moving.


Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Surrey house prices 70% higher

The average house price in Surrey has been worth more than half a million, since the summer of 2022. The average Surrey home now costs £500,300, which is a whopping 70% more expensive than the national average property value for England and Wales, £293,976.

Why are houses so expensive in Surrey?

Surrey is one of the most desirable commuter boroughs. It's location in the south and proximity to London, Transport links, and the seaside drives demand in the area, which pushes house prices higher. It has an excellent range of schools and abundance of green space which make it popular with young families, as well as professionals and wealthy retirees.

Another factor which is pulling up the average price is the number of luxury properties in the county. Country Life magazine report that sales of £1m-plus homes across 10 Surrey commuter towns have soared by 41% since 2019. (Guildford, Cobham, Dorking, Reigate, Weybridge, Haslemere, Farnham, Epsom, Woking and Godalming.)



Source: House Price Index (HPI)


How does the Bank of England affect the Surrey Housing Market?

House prices tend to rise with inflation (2021) but fall when the base rate comes up (2023) and the higher cost of borrowing means buyers have less to spend. The base rate has held steady at 5.25% since August.


Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)


The base rate is expected to come down slightly in June, but we expect it may come down as early as April or May. People will have more buying power which is usually followed by house price growth.


Will there be a UK recession in 2024?

The UK Economy fell into recession last year, but positive annual growth of 0.25% was initially forecast by the Bank of England at the beginning of 2024.

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) revised their forecasts upwards at the end of February, to 0.5% for 2024, 0.7% for 2025, and a healthier 1% growth for 2026.

This, however, is well below the pre-pandemic average. NEISR estimate that Britain's poorest households will not recover fully until 2027.



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What are homebuyers looking for?

Epsom & Ewell has strongest sales volume vs last year

Property sales in Epsom & Ewell were at 58% of last year's figure, miles ahead of Tandridge (47%) and Surrey Heath (46%). However, Surrey as a whole saw only 40% of last years sales volume, falling behind versus the average across England & Wales (45%).

Reigate & Banstead came in last, seeing just 31% of last year's property transactions. Spelthorne and Woking saw 35% and 37%, respectively.


Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Elmbridge remains most expensive district to buy a house in Surrey

Elmbridge sits just across the river from Hampton Court Palace, outside of south west London and just an hour from the City. The borough has been described as the Beverley Hills of Britain, and is home to several celebs including Andy Murray, Cliff Richard, Shilpa Shetty and Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones.


Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Surrey house prices close to record highs

House prices have wobbled a little over the last year or so, and falling prices set homeowners on edge, especially those of us who where affected by the 2008 crash. Surreys is currently 4.5% behind its peak (October 2022) vs England & Wales which is 3% behind its peak (September 2022). However, prices were perhaps over-inflated by the Help to Buy programme and a race to complete before the scheme closed.

House prices have fluctuated since then under higher borrowing costs and the 'cozzie livs' (as Gen Z are calling the cost of living crisis), but, they have mostly levelled out and remain close to their record highs.

Woking wins

Woking house prices are just 2% behind its peak of £486,853 in October 2022, followed by Mole Valley at 3% under its peak of £581,504 in November 2022; Mole Valley actually bucked trends, being the second district to beat the 22/23 record, reaching £586,020 in December of 2023, after Guildford in July.

Runnymede and Surrey Heath have fallen furthest, both 8% behind their respective peak prices.


Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Detached houses most volatile

Flats & maisonettes, terraces and semis have been far less affected by the recent house price fluctuations than detached homes have been. While they follow the basic peak & dip pattern, they have been more resilient and reliable against market uncertainty.

This may be because detached houses meet the luxury end of the market, and spending in this area is more immediately affected by factors influencing affordability; whereas smaller & cheaper houses are meeting more of a housing necessity.


Source: House Price Index (HPI)


New builds house prices in Surrey soaring above existing homes

The average new build is becoming increasingly more expensive than pre-existing property across the country, as material costs rose and developers slow down production. But, this is no indication that they are a better investment. We know that new builds come at a premium, much like new cars, so just because the average new build cost hasn't been affected by the property market's latest dip - that doesn't mean it won't be, when you come to resell it.


Source: House Price Index (HPI)


What is next for the Surrey property market?

Surrey has several ongoing areas for development:

Sustainable development

Surrey's Smarter Working for the Environment Policy and Action Plan aims to support economic and employment growth, ensuring Surrey's local environment is sustainable and resilient to future change as well as managing impacts beyond the region.

Surrey’s 2050 Place Ambition

The 2050 Place Ambition sets out goals for the next 30 years of good growth.

Surrey's infrastructure plan

The Surrey Infrastructure Plan aims to develop roads, schools, community and leisure facilities, healthcare and green space, in the context of a broadening scope of infrastructure, for example, relating to digital, clean energy and future mobility.

"Within the SIP there are 15 objectives which have been derived from the full range of strategies that impact on and determine the county's priorities for placemaking, from the Place Ambition, the Surrey Climate Change Strategy, the Surrey Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the Local Transport Plan, the Local Plans of the districts and boroughs, and Council's own organisational strategy."

Future Steering Board & Surrey Infrastructure Steering Group

The Surrey Future Steering Board aims to promote joint working between the 12 local authorities and business community to support the county's economy and manage planned growth sustainably over the next few decades both within Surrey and cross-border. It was replaced by the Surrey Infrastructure Steering Group (SISG) in 2022, whose goals are to: Align infrastructure and investment priorities and spatial planning interests; Provide a focus on delivery and clear outputs/outcomes through a collective effort in tackling key challenges; and Ensure the Surrey voice is heard.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects

There are four major projects in Surrey which are of national significance. Including: the Southampton to London Pipeline Project to replace 90km of the existing 105km underground aviation fuel pipeline that runs from Fawley Refinery near Southampton to the West London Terminal storage facility in Hounslow; the M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange improvement to reduce delays, smooth traffic flows and create safer journeys for all; the Gatwick Northern Runway Project to accommodate 75.6 million passengers per annum by 2038, an increase of 13 million passengers per annum compared to forecasts for single runway operation; and the River Thames Scheme to defend the flood plain and create new public green spaces, access improvements and new habitat areas.

Health Impact Assessments (HIA)

Surrey's Health and Spatial Planning strategy aims to strengthen links across planning and health teams, creating healthy environments that support and encourage healthy lifestyles and the wider determinants of health, and identifying and securing appropriate local health infrastructure to support the health and care system.

The Guidance Statement explains the context and recommends an approach for using the HIA in planning across Surrey.

Aviation & Airports

Surrey is home to two of the world's largest international airports as well as a number of business airports and smaller airfields. The county council's primary focus continues to be on the need for investment in infrastructure – especially public transport and active travel infrastructure - to precede any development and effective mitigation of the detrimental effects of expansion on Surrey residents and local businesses.


These developments should help to improve the lives of Surrey residents, with better health, living conditions, job opportunities, resources and connectivity. Together, these factors support a healthy property market, and we expect to see house prices rise with desirability in areas of positive regeneration.


Should I buy a house in Surrey?

Surrey is an excellent location to choose to live:

  • Well connected to London
  • Two major international airports
  • Close to the beautiful south east coast
  • Thriving economy
  • Attractive, historic towns and villages
  • National Trust attractions
  • Green spaces
  • Excellent schools
  • Low crime rate

If you can afford to buy in Surrey now, it is likely you'll be able to switch to a more affordable mortgage rate in a couple of years, by which point your investment will hopefully have appreciated in value.

If you are renting and can afford to buy at the current rate of interest, this may be a much more desirable option than saving for a bigger deposit, as rents are set to rise nationally this year by 5% or more (but only 2% in London), whereas mortgage rates are likely to fall.

However, if you are stretching your budget to buy in the area, consider a cheaper location, or saving for a bit longer. We may not be out of the woods yet, and if the base rate (and mortgage rates) rise, you may not be able to keep up with your monthly repayments. Worse yet, if prices do fall, you could end up in negative equity. Buying a home with a mortgage always comes with risks.

If you are ready to buy a house in Surrey or the surrounding area, we can handle your purchase with a dedicated SAM Conveyancing Consultant to manage your transaction alongside one of our hand-selected panel solicitors.


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"Home buyers return to the housing market en masse in 2024, following a stagnant 2023. They have returned to a property market still facing challenges: rising sales prices, high mortgage rates, and uncertainty about when the base rate will come down. I still expect to see the base rate fall before the summer."

"There are clearly a large number of buyers in the market looking to get on the housing ladder or to climb it. We need to see the BOE base rate remain stable at current or lower rates to achieve this."

- Andrew Boast FMAAT MIC
CEO and Author | SAM Conveyancing

Sources: Latest data from - Gov.UK, Bank of England, UK House Price Index.

Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Written by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
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