Surrey, Sussex & Somerset
The 3 Ss property snapshot: Step forward Sussex, Surrey and Somerset. It’s your turn to show your property credentials.
We’re a country on the move with buying, selling and renting sentiment at its highest levels for a few years. Viewber takes a look at three favourites on the home moving radar: Sussex, Surrey and Somerset.
Some of the UK’s most stunning natural wonders can be found in Somerset, including the Cheddar gorges and caves, Glastonbury Tor and the Mendip Hills AONB. The county’s rural charm and rugged hills are making it a relocation hotspot, even attracting property guru Sarah Beeny, who has moved into a farmhouse close to Bruton.
Somerset’s popularity is soaring among tenants as well as buyers. Rightmove found the county’s city of Wells was the most favoured destination in the entire country among people looking to rent a property in the last 12 months, with searches climbing an incredible 82%.
Stand-out star - Bath
Bath was described by The Times as having a ‘micromarket’ when it comes to property – no doubt thanks to its chic vibe, which is a cross between Covent Garden and Royal Tunbridge Wells. Rich in culture, architectural, commercial and financial assets, Bath is often considered the next best thing to living in London and property prices reflect this. According to Rightmove, the average sold property price in Bath has now broken the £500,000 barrier.
Somerset house prices: In 2019, sold house in Somerset were similar to the previous year, with an average property price of £305,875*.
Where else to buy or rent in Somerset: Taunton, Minehead, Frome, Shepton Mallet, Yeovil and Chard.
A county known for its thriving, expansive coastline as much as its countryside, Sussex’s charms seem to weather every property storm. Its enduring appeal saw two of the county’s towns make the top 15 places to live in the UK in 2021, as compiled by property experts Garringtons. The harbor town of Rye took 6th spot, with Lewes in 14th place.
The country is divided into two – East and West – and attracts London commuters who are tired of urban ways. Having said that, Brighton has earned itself the label of ‘London-next-the-Sea’ and is touted as the most cosmopolitan area outside of the capital.
Sussex house prices: Sold prices in East Sussex over the last year were 6% up on the previous 12 months, with an average property price of £372,531*. Sold prices in West Sussex over the last year were 4% up on the previous 12 months, with an average property price of £390,264*.
Stand-out star – Hastings
When The Sunday Times dubs a place ‘Portobello-on-Sea’ you know that it’s on the up. Hastings combines Victorian splendor, shabby chic and vintage vibes – a heady mix that has drawn city dwellers to the coast, especially Hastings Old Town. The town hasn’t lost all of its traditional seaside charm, however, with a refurbished pier, beach huts and fish and chip sellers sitting cheek-by-jowl with artists’ studios, boutique galleries and the world’s largest underground skate/BMX park.
Where else to buy or rent in Sussex: Crowborough, Horsham, Forest Row, Bexhill-on-Sea, Chichester, Bognor Regis and East Grinstead.
Surrey can argue it is the best commuter county out of the entire ‘belt’, with exceptionally strong road and rail links set against a scenic backdrop, which includes the North and South, Downs and the Surrey Hills. Many will also argue that it is the priciest of commuter destinations, although it’s still possible to buy a family home in Surrey for the same price as a modern apartment in London’s Zone 2.
Surrey house prices: Sold prices in Surrey over the last year were 7% up on the previous 12 months, with an average property price of £577,155. *
Stand-out star: Weybridge needs little introduction but for the uninitiated, it is the epicenter of wealth, golf, privacy and real A-list celebrities. Agent Jackson-Stops has just accepted an offer in excess of £1 million for a private island in the middle of the town, with the owner able to access a modest two-bedroom cottage by private bridge. Weybridge is also home to the über-exclusive St George’s Hill estate, whose mansions have been owned by Elton John, John Terry, Jenson Button and Tom Jones.
Where else to buy or rent in Surrey: Godalming, Reigate, Dorking, Egham, Redhill, Guildford and Cobham
*Rightmove figures 4th February 2021