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#1 Stevewho

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 09:50 AM

Hello,

I'm thinking of Woking, Surrey for a possible future buy. I've checked on the web and it does look as if house prices have not really fallen in this area. Do any of you have any idea why or do you predict future falls in Woking?

Many thanks for your help!

Steve

#2 worried1

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 10:04 AM

Hello,

I'm thinking of Woking, Surrey for a possible future buy. I've checked on the web and it does look as if house prices have not really fallen in this area. Do any of you have any idea why or do you predict future falls in Woking?

Many thanks for your help!

Steve


I don't know the area that well, but I would be surprised if it hasn't fallen yet. Guildford just down the road has been really tanking of late.

Woking itself is a bit of a strange area. It has got a hideous 1960s concrete town centre and lots of problem kids hanging around at all times of the day. It is also the social security centre of Surrey - take a walk around the Peacocks centre at lunchtime and marvel at the dexterity shown by the teenage mums eating fast food while grappling with their quadruple seat pushchairs.

That said, the surrounding areas are nice, and the town centre has everything you need, even if it is uninspiring. The train service is the main selling point for Woking, and it is a fast and frequent service that takes under 30 minutes to get into Waterloo. The problem is that Woking is so far out that the ticket prices are absolutely crazy. For a couple both working in London, it would pay to move a bit closer in and save 4k pa (after tax!) on travel.

Prices in Woking will be governed by those in the more desirable surrounding areas. Guildford, Weybridge and Walton are all coming down fast, Surbiton and Kingston even more so. Woking will have to come down to maintain some sort of parity.

#3 cardinal3

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 09:02 PM

I don't know the area that well, but I would be surprised if it hasn't fallen yet. Guildford just down the road has been really tanking of late.

Woking itself is a bit of a strange area. It has got a hideous 1960s concrete town centre and lots of problem kids hanging around at all times of the day. It is also the social security centre of Surrey - take a walk around the Peacocks centre at lunchtime and marvel at the dexterity shown by the teenage mums eating fast food while grappling with their quadruple seat pushchairs.

That said, the surrounding areas are nice, and the town centre has everything you need, even if it is uninspiring. The train service is the main selling point for Woking, and it is a fast and frequent service that takes under 30 minutes to get into Waterloo. The problem is that Woking is so far out that the ticket prices are absolutely crazy. For a couple both working in London, it would pay to move a bit closer in and save 4k pa (after tax!) on travel.

Prices in Woking will be governed by those in the more desirable surrounding areas. Guildford, Weybridge and Walton are all coming down fast, Surbiton and Kingston even more so. Woking will have to come down to maintain some sort of parity.


Worried
You are right to say you don't know Woking well, given the claptrap in your post.
As for "deprivation" to which you are alluding in your crude reference to social disadvantage you ought to look up the statistics before you make sweeping statements. Out of the top "ie most deprived" 20 areas in Surrey, Guildford has three- 2-Westborough, 9-Stoke and 18-Ash Wharf, whereas Woking has two- 3-Maybury and 7 Goldsworth East. As for social security/benefits the story is the same.

You have a downer on Woking for your own reasons and that is your right but much of your comment is your own value judgment. For example you won't get anyone disagreeing that parts of the town centre need knocking down but all of it? You forget - or conveniently ignore- the huge Peacocks centre is 1980s and houses the most popular theatres in the South East (yes I appreciate the Yvonne Arnaud in Guildford has been given a kicking and has lost its funding - sad eh?).Then there is in the town centre the year old Lightbox, an innovative arts and museum centre facility if ever there was one, the other week won the national Art Fund prize of 100,000. What's happened to the Civic in Guildford lately?

As for the original poster's query..well yes prices have fallen, but it rather depends what you want. Two friends of mine have sold subject to contract in the last week, both are 4 bed houses, built in the last 4 years, one in near the town centre, one not. Both have taken big hits. Both cost 400K and are selling for 350K. The interesting anecdote from one of the agents was that he advised my friend to take the offer because prices are going to drop a lot more. We have a lot of flats in Woking, especially in the centre, and many have been bought as btls and occupied (if at all) by young professionals - sorry worried1 but thats the way it is- but are now coming on the market. Some developments have either not started (Barratts) or have stopped after being part built (Wimpey) in the last few weeks. I know one new build of 2 bed flats where offers are definitely in order and the prices on the doors are what I would call "indicative". I know of another block where at least 6 flats which were btl have been repossessed (Metro, Goldsworth Road).
On balance I think like everywhere prices are dropping as people have to sell and are becoming more realistic. At least one estate agent has closed and even Foxtons doesn't seem to have many people popping in to sample what they think are its drinks cabinets and have what appears to be a smaller workforce than hitherto. There is a way to go yet though. Depends what you want, but the good thing in Woking is that there is a wide variety of property around. Personally I love the place, but then I would, as I live here, next to Horsell Common, where the Martians of HG Wells' War of the Worlds landed. Even so I can walk to the station in 10 minutes, past the Martian artwork, installed in 1997 to celebrate 100 years since the book was written. Yet another post 1960s development! Did I mention Woking's international reputation for environmental action?

Where is Guildford?

Edited by cardinal3, 14 September 2008 - 09:06 PM.


#4 worried1

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:24 AM

Personally I love the place, but then I would, as I live here, next to Horsell Common, where the Martians of HG Wells' War of the Worlds landed. Even so I can walk to the station in 10 minutes, past the Martian artwork, installed in 1997 to celebrate 100 years since the book was written. Yet another post 1960s development! Did I mention Woking's international reputation for environmental action?


As always, it depends on exactly where you live. As with any large town these days, if you can live in a nice suburban area on the outskirts, but still walk in to benefit from the facilities, then you have the best of both worlds. As I mentioned before, the areas surrounding Woking are generally excellent.

My original post was not questioning the presence of arts and other facilities in the town, merely saying that the town centre is not the most pleasant place to be during the day time. Guildford takes the award for most intimidating town centre at night, but Woking is worse during the day.

The mass of flat building in Woking could also cause problems. The train service is excellent, but the high price of tickets combined with the relatively high rental prices in these new blocks could make it more advantageous for London commuters to move elsewhere.

I apologies if my post came across as overly negative, as that was not my intention. I was just trying to point out a few factors to the OP that may or may not be important to him when he is choosing a place to live.

Edited by worried1, 15 September 2008 - 10:03 AM.


#5 Flopsy

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 12:02 PM

I went out to Woking to visit a friend a few weeks ago and noticed all the new blocks of apartment buildings. These are taking some very big hits in price. An increasing number of them are appearing on auction lists due to repossessions. I don't know if the owners (I am presuming BTL) will also live in Woking and have to sell their main residences as well.

Here's a few examples

Three flats together

http://www.rightmove...p;mam_disp=true

Full description:
An opportunity has arisen to purchase 3-two bedroom apartments with en-suite to master bedroom in Centruim, Station Approach, Woking. All with-in the same building and on the doorstep of Woking train station and town centre. The properties are currently tenanted and could be sold with or without tenants. Further benefits include on-site gymnasium and sauna including Jacuzzi. Lifts to all floors and carpeted communal areas. Lobby with 24-hour concierge. The vendor is looking for a quick sale. For more details please call now on 01932 56 77 56.



http://www.rightmove...p;mam_disp=true

How much would you offer for this property? Call 01932 56 77 56 right now and make us an offer or arrange a viewing



and from other newish developments

http://tinyurl.com/5a4k8z

http://tinyurl.com/5au4pn

Edited by Flopsy, 15 September 2008 - 12:07 PM.


#6 worried1

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 01:03 PM

I went out to Woking to visit a friend a few weeks ago and noticed all the new blocks of apartment buildings. These are taking some very big hits in price. An increasing number of them are appearing on auction lists due to repossessions. I don't know if the owners (I am presuming BTL) will also live in Woking and have to sell their main residences as well.


I can't understand why the flats in Centrium are so much more expensive than the others. Do you know how much they were originally?

Woking has got a great train connection, and has always been popular as a place for people to move to when they move out of London and want a bigger house to have a family without a massive commute.

It only makes sense for young professionals to move as far out of Woking if the price is right. For 290k, they could buy a 2 bed flat in Wimbledon/Tooting etc and cut their commuting time and costs in half. A flat in Woking has to be a lot cheaper than that to make any sense.

The other flats that you link to are a bit more sensible - 150k represents a good discount from what you would pay in outer London, and are therefore a reasonable alternative.

This has been one of the problems in recent years, greedy developers putting massive amounts of flats in the wrong places. Kingston is another good example - many hundreds of new flats built in a town which has 4 trains an hour going into central London that take almost 30 minutes to get there. There is next to no work locally(apart from retail), so the developers are clearly planning that London commuters will buy their 350k flats. Those commuters are taking their 350k and buying a flat in zone 2/3, or staying in Kingston and buying a house instead!

#7 ablondon

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 01:58 PM

I can't understand why the flats in Centrium are so much more expensive than the others. Do you know how much they were originally?

Woking has got a great train connection, and has always been popular as a place for people to move to when they move out of London and want a bigger house to have a family without a massive commute.

It only makes sense for young professionals to move as far out of Woking if the price is right. For 290k, they could buy a 2 bed flat in Wimbledon/Tooting etc and cut their commuting time and costs in half. A flat in Woking has to be a lot cheaper than that to make any sense.

The other flats that you link to are a bit more sensible - 150k represents a good discount from what you would pay in outer London, and are therefore a reasonable alternative.

This has been one of the problems in recent years, greedy developers putting massive amounts of flats in the wrong places. Kingston is another good example - many hundreds of new flats built in a town which has 4 trains an hour going into central London that take almost 30 minutes to get there. There is next to no work locally(apart from retail), so the developers are clearly planning that London commuters will buy their 350k flats. Those commuters are taking their 350k and buying a flat in zone 2/3, or staying in Kingston and buying a house instead!


Im sure everyone who reads this post must be thinking that 290,000 for a two bed is way off the mark. I live in zone 2 London, Bromley by Bow and 2 beds for sale here are at the most at 290,000 (PS thats foxton prices!. others at 275,000... ending up at completing at "265,000ish) We dont have any shared facilities but they do overlook the canal and river and not the train station or town centre, no road noise and are the same size/specification.

#8 cardinal3

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:53 PM

The Centrium flats started at 200K for a ground floor 1 bed I believe and each level up was 5K extra. I thought the penthouse properties were around 499k (2 bed-15th floor). Centrium was completed about 3 years ago. The views from the upper reaches are stupendous- London Eye, Wembley etc. A lot are btls.

As for the other two properties they are both auction prices so that will be interesting- one is in the block Metro I mentioned earlier as a repo. There are quite a lot of 2 bed flats near the town centre which are not so expensive- around the 200K mark and less. I think the newer ones are more expensive in the market as buyers from new try to re-coup their outlay.

#9 Flopsy

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:25 PM

Here's a Centrium one at a cheaper price.

http://www.primeloca.../GPBO_WKG080380

My guess is that the LL's survived a little better there as the developer guaranteed rent for a period after they were build. The other flats by the canal didn't have that and I think that the market was saturated by the time they were built.

Edited by Flopsy, 15 September 2008 - 09:26 PM.


#10 cardinal3

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:57 PM

Here's a Centrium one at a cheaper price.

http://www.primeloca.../GPBO_WKG080380

My guess is that the LL's survived a little better there as the developer guaranteed rent for a period after they were build. The other flats by the canal didn't have that and I think that the market was saturated by the time they were built.


Good point about the incentives- they appeared quite late into the process but in essence you are right.

As to the property you have attached this is not strictly Centrium but a nearby building next to the station entrance and is, I am confident you will find, affordable housing- ie part ownership in this case. The block is managed by a housing association, Hyde Housing, and includes a mix of part ownership- for essential workers and renting with nominations from the council.

#11 bambam

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:31 PM

I can't understand why the flats in Centrium are so much more expensive than the others. Do you know how much they were originally?

Woking has got a great train connection, and has always been popular as a place for people to move to when they move out of London and want a bigger house to have a family without a massive commute.

It only makes sense for young professionals to move as far out of Woking if the price is right. For 290k, they could buy a 2 bed flat in Wimbledon/Tooting etc and cut their commuting time and costs in half. A flat in Woking has to be a lot cheaper than that to make any sense.


The new flats will fall dramatically in price.

A friend rented one at Centrium (I think?) which was repossessed with a few weeks' notice

Buying this 1-bed at 240k is crazy: http://www.rightmove...p;mam_disp=true

If you were going to spend 290k you'd go for something like this

http://www.rightmove...p;mam_disp=true

Or move up to something like this

http://www.rightmove...p;mam_disp=true

Far cheaper than Wimbledon.

Woking is for young professionals + first child, not really for a couple.

I know a family in Wimbledon, husband (who is as meek and mild as they come) was out with his two young children on the Common and was racially attacked. Woking is very much safer, crime is much lower in Surrey than Wimbledon.

#12 bambam

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:34 PM

As always, it depends on exactly where you live. As with any large town these days, if you can live in a nice suburban area on the outskirts, but still walk in to benefit from the facilities, then you have the best of both worlds. As I mentioned before, the areas surrounding Woking are generally excellent.

My original post was not questioning the presence of arts and other facilities in the town, merely saying that the town centre is not the most pleasant place to be during the day time. Guildford takes the award for most intimidating town centre at night, but Woking is worse during the day.


I can assure you that the town centres of even an outer London borough are much worse, let alone the freaks and weirdos you'll find wandering around somewhere like Islington.

#13 bambam

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:02 PM

I don't know the area that well, but I would be surprised if it hasn't fallen yet. Guildford just down the road has been really tanking of late.

Woking itself is a bit of a strange area. It has got a hideous 1960s concrete town centre and lots of problem kids hanging around at all times of the day. It is also the social security centre of Surrey - take a walk around the Peacocks centre at lunchtime and marvel at the dexterity shown by the teenage mums eating fast food while grappling with their quadruple seat pushchairs.


They are not that bad really.

That said, the surrounding areas are nice


There are indeed some nice areas: Horsell, Hook Heath, The Hockering spring to mind, the latter two small, established and exclusive and very much premium priced.

The problem is that Woking is so far out that the ticket prices are absolutely crazy. For a couple both working in London, it would pay to move a bit closer in and save 4k pa (after tax!) on travel.


You'd have to move in quite a long way. A 1-2 travel card is 968, a woking s/t+1-6 is 2892.

Prices in Woking will be governed by those in the more desirable surrounding areas. Guildford, Weybridge and Walton are all coming down fast, Surbiton and Kingston even more so. Woking will have to come down to maintain some sort of parity.


I hope so.

I think however prices have risen much slower in Woking than elsewhere. My rented 4-bed detached, worth 525k last September was purchased for 280k in April 2000. This is I believe a smaller rise than in neighbouring boroughs.

From looking on property snake and rightmove I'm not seeing any of 800k properties that I'd like to be buying moving into the 600k range (or even 700k if it comes to that), that's for sure.

Here's a Hockering property at 800k http://www.rightmove...p;mam_disp=true with 2200 sq ft.

And here's a Orchard Drive house on for 825k http://www.rightmove...p;mam_disp=true with 2250 sq ft.

Will be interested to see selling prices and to revisit in a year to see what these are going for.

Edited by bambam, 16 September 2008 - 05:02 PM.


#14 bambam

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:13 PM

Worried
You are right to say you don't know Woking well, given the claptrap in your post.
As for "deprivation" to which you are alluding in your crude reference to social disadvantage you ought to look up the statistics before you make sweeping statements. Out of the top "ie most deprived" 20 areas in Surrey, Guildford has three- 2-Westborough, 9-Stoke and 18-Ash Wharf, whereas Woking has two- 3-Maybury and 7 Goldsworth East. As for social security/benefits the story is the same.


Maybury is certainly to be avoided. It has acquired its predominant ethnic minority due to proximity to Britain's mosque, and they are certainly never going to do much for property prices, not to mention that the properties are pretty grotty in this area. No idea about Goldsworth East though, Goldsworth Park seems a relatively successful 1970s development from what I can see.

Then there is in the town centre the year old Lightbox, an innovative arts and museum centre facility if ever there was one, the other week won the national Art Fund prize of 100,000. What's happened to the Civic in Guildford lately?


The Lightbox doesn't have that much in it, but there's so many well-educated middle class young professionals in Woking that it seems to do ok. They've built arts facilities in working class areas and basically the residents don't give a toss.

As for the original poster's query..well yes prices have fallen, but it rather depends what you want. Two friends of mine have sold subject to contract in the last week, both are 4 bed houses, built in the last 4 years, one in near the town centre, one not. Both have taken big hits. Both cost 400K and are selling for 350K. The interesting anecdote from one of the agents was that he advised my friend to take the offer because prices are going to drop a lot more.


Well yes, but he would do wouldn't he.

A sale at 350k is still a hefty commission.

That said, sounds like new-build shoeboxes with no garden for the price. I'm personally on the lookout for better quality, but

At least one estate agent has closed and even Foxtons doesn't seem to have many people popping in to sample what they think are its drinks cabinets and have what appears to be a smaller workforce than hitherto.


I thought they were drinks cabinets? :blink:

There is a way to go yet though. Depends what you want, but the good thing in Woking is that there is a wide variety of property around. Personally I love the place, but then I would, as I live here, next to Horsell Common, where the Martians of HG Wells' War of the Worlds landed.


Which road are you on?

Did I mention Woking's international reputation for environmental action?


Oh please don't.

Are we talking about the white elephant fuel cell in the park, or the utterly ridiculous solar canopy over the station?

I don't want my council developing a reputation for international activism, it's of no benefit to me.

#15 worried1

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 06:01 PM

Thanks Bambam, some very useful replies there. It reinforces a lot of what I thought about the Woking market - these flats are totally out of place at nearly 300k when you can buy adequate 3 bed houses also within walking distance of the station for roughly the same money. In a lot of places I have looked at a flat near the station is often the same price as a semi a couple of miles out, but these are the same cost as houses within a few hundred metres!

I still think that the 3k cost of a travelcard is prohibitive if there are two commuters in the household, though. That 4k extra cost per year could do quite a lot of damage to the mortgage/rent bill on a zone 2 flat. You are right that the houses are much cheaper - I dread to think how much that 330k semi would be on the market for in Wimbledon.




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