Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Property in Guildford
As the largest town in Surrey and equidistant from London and Portsmouth, Guildford has much to offer home buyers. Boasting an enticing balance between rural and city, with a wide range of amenities on your doorstep, excellent schools and plenty of history, it is a popular choice for families, young professionals and students.
Why buy in Guildford?
Located on the banks of the River Wey, Guildford delivers much to its residents. A thriving town centre with quaint cobbled streets welcomes everything from high street staples to independent boutiques, as well as art galleries, markets and restaurants. Four shopping centres mean you’ll never be stuck for retail inspiration, while for those with more of a passion for history, the 11th century Guildford Castle and grounds offers a fascinating day out and also hosts an open-air theatre in the summer. The Grade 1 listed Guildford House, Guildford Cathedral and Guildford Museum are also worth a visit.
For those who prefer the great outdoors, the town is close to the beautiful countryside of the Surrey Hills and North Downs, perfect for a day’s cycling or walking. The lido, complete with a heated Olympic-sized swimming pool, is worth a visit any time of year; there’s even mini golf on-site. For the more adventurous, the leisure pool at Guildford Spectrum has lots of fun features, including a wave machine and eight waterslides suitable for all ages. Other attractions here include ice skating, bowling and a climbing wall.
Schools in Guildford
As well as offering plenty for families to do, Guildford also boasts several highly rated schools. Burpham Foundation Primary School is rated Outstanding by Ofsted, while Bushey Hill, Sandfield and St Thomas of Canterbury are among those to get a Good rating.
Welcoming girls from 4 to 18 years old, Guildford High School dates back to 1887 and was named Independent Prep School of the Decade in the 2022 Sunday Times Schools Guide. For boys, the Royal Grammar School is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the country at both A Level and GCSE, according to the national league tables. In addition, St Peter’s secondary school was rated as outstanding by Ofsted during its last inspection, while Guildford County School is one of the top schools in the area, with both now welcoming boys and girls.
In terms of higher education, Guildford is home to the University of Surrey, which hosts over 16,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. It regularly features in the top 30 British universities in The Complete University Guide and The Times/The Sunday Times University League Table. In addition, the world-class Academy of Contemporary Music offers specialist programmes in music performance, songwriting, production, business, games development and more, taught by industry professionals.
One reason for Guildford’s popularity as a place to live is its excellent road, rail and bus links. Fast trains to London Waterloo can take less than 40 minutes, although an annual season ticket will set you back around £4,500. A Flexi Season ticket is now available for those not commuting each day, offering discounts of around 20% compared with a monthly season ticket. The South Coast is only 50 minutes away by train, and the town is also served by M25, M3 and A3, as well as having a direct rail link to Gatwick Airport.
House prices in Guildford
With so much to offer and such a well-connected location, it’s perhaps no surprise that house prices in Guildford are significantly above the national average, at around £520,000. While you’ll be able to find flats in the town for less than half that price, detached homes could set you back closer to £1 million. Detached and semi-detached homes continue to be in demand, and prices have risen by around 7% in the past 12 months. It’s a fast-moving market, with homes going under offer after an average of just 37 days.
As a sought-after area, being a first-time buyer in Guildford can be a daunting experience. Properties move quickly, and prices can be high, but it is possible to find one-bed flats for less than £300,000.
Where to live in Guildford?
Ash Vale and Ash Wharf are two of the more affordable parts of the borough of Guildford, while Pewley Down, Pewley Hill, Burpham and Onslow Village remain popular. Most of the housing is early twentieth century. However, some Georgian properties can be found, and there are increasing numbers of modern apartments springing up to house the growing student and young professional population.
Buy to lets in Guildford
That younger demographic also means buy to lets can be a good investment in Guildford. Average rental prices are around £500 a week - £300 for one bed, rising to over £600 for four-bed family homes. Two and four beds are the most popular properties, with houses proving more in demand than flats. Long let gross yields are around 3.8%, according to property.XYZ.
Novello in Guildford
Whether you’re buying your first property, investing in your forever home or simply looking to make a wise investment, navigating the Surrey property market can be challenging. High prices and high demand mean it’s more important than ever that you go into any potential purchase fully informed. Having the right team in place to help, advise and guide you through the process is, therefore, essential.
At Novello, we work closely with you throughout to ensure you have all the information you need about a property, and you understand what it all means. Offering more than a survey, we aim to be your partners throughout. Our Private Client Surveying service ensures we are always on hand to guide and advise. From a comprehensive building survey to help with any additional investigations that may be needed, renegotiation advice and more, we offer a bespoke service tailored to your needs and responding to your concerns so that you can proceed confidently and avoid costly mistakes.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you buy property in Guildford or arrange a free consultation.