As a Surrey removals and storage company, we should begin with a look at property, in a popular, well established county.
Commercial premises are part of our remit and whilst Surrey has seen a reduction in occupancy, particularly retail, business is in good shape. This is reflected in employment data.
The unemployed claimant rate is about 1%, a third of the national average. High rates of employment are in managerial or professional roles, as they need to be with the cost of housing.
There are around half a million separate homes in Surrey, an increase of almost 5% on a decade ago. Owner occupancy is relatively high, as can be seen in the graphic below:
With this background and the reputation of Surrey as a fine place to live, you may imagine property sales are bouyant but this is not the case.
They are still better than the current national average and higher than after the 2008 crash. Time to sell is reasonable, a decent range is available, yet 2014 to 2018 saw a notable fall in sales:
From data available, figures from 2019 and early 2020 appear similar. Varying reasons have been suggested, the Brexit vote and wider political uncertainty, a ripple effect from the fall in London.
Both may have played a part, along with changing views on ownership, although we should consider other factors.
The booming buy to let market has fallen away. Tax and regulatory changes have not been on the side of landlords, when they were already losing confidence in the returns from property.
Less overseas buyers and renters are arriving in Surrey, or to work in London. Dual property holdings have been reduced by people moving to their "second" home, reflected in our removals service.
In fairness, none of these have dropped in Surrey as much as many other places and the effect is not huge. Affordability is the ultimate key to home sales and may be at the core of changing sales patterns.
Buying A Home
As shown below, the cost of housing in Surrey as a multiple of income is almost 50% above the national average. This increases further in areas such as Mole Valley and Elmbridge:
To balance this, the Surrey population has been gradually growing and is expected to increase by 5000 over the next decade, requiring a further 2000 homes:
Even so, people can not buy a home they can not afford. A particular issue for younger buyers, even with assistance from their families and for those of all ages without substantial income.
The 24% fall in sales mentioned is notably due to affordability. This may seem a gloomy picture but the future still holds more opportunites for Surrey than many places, as can be seen in:
Surrey Moving Towards 2030