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I think that a lot of people just look for the quickest commute for their budget and think about the reality later on.

Loads of people move from London to Surbiton for the fast train, they don't care that it is in zone 6 whilst New Malden up the road has much cheaper house prices and zone 4 travel.

A lot of them don't seem to care about value at all, seeming to adopt the mantra that the more they spend on a house the more it will go up in value.

I guess the same must apply in Woking. There are enough people convinced that the 25 minute train journey is good enough to pay zone 3-4 prices for flats and it won't matter because they will have doubled in value in two years time anyway!

Not only is it 25 mins on the train to Waterloo, it's also:

half an hour by car to Heathrow and an excellent bus service

half an hour by car to Gatwick

convenient access to A3, M3, M25 and arguably M4

Add in the below average levels of crime and the above average performance of schools and there are good reasons to see it as an attractive balance of factors. £400,000 for a flat is insane, but you can get a perfectly decent flat for £200,000 and only 5 minutes walk from the station (which is still pretty mental).

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I think if you didn't live in central Woking you'd probably end up shopping in Camberley or Guildford rather than Woking or Kingston. Camberley kind of out-Primarks Woking if that's what you want, and Guildford does the upmarket bit that much better.

Camberley is a pig to get to by train (change at Ash Vale) - meaning you have to get there by car, and there is no decent free parking. The wife hates paying for parking. Personally. I find Camberley very 'high density' in terms of people, cars on the road etc. - always being walked in front of in the street or have a car pull out in front of you on the road. Its like shopping in Waterloo outside platform 10 at 6pm.

Surrey really is Guildford or nothing for shopping, Woking very average. As I said before, Woking is fine to live in, but live rural on the outskirts to get the benefits and only do so once you are a bit older and so tired of the desire for "London buzz" or "shopping experience". Gardening, book clubs, village fairs etc is the local scene. One downside is that commuters such as me have moved in and killed the local village pubs - the odd pint on a weekend isnt enough to keep them running business wise. Those that survive are scarce and basically restaurants serving expensive gastro food. Its quiet and dark at night, and safe. But there's not a good choice of places to eat out or be seen drinking in. There's a village hall though with yoga on a tuesday and allotment society thursday etc. etc.

I see the Woking thread is now labelled as "hot" on the forum software. Never has Woking been so excitingly described!!!

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Not only is it 25 mins on the train to Waterloo, it's also:

half an hour by car to Heathrow and an excellent bus service

half an hour by car to Gatwick

convenient access to A3, M3, M25 and arguably M4

Add in the below average levels of crime and the above average performance of schools and there are good reasons to see it as an attractive balance of factors. £400,000 for a flat is insane, but you can get a perfectly decent flat for £200,000 and only 5 minutes walk from the station (which is still pretty mental).

Well to be more accurate:

(a) it's timetabled at at least 27 minutes to Waterloo

(B) the bus is frequent enough but unless you are on your own a minicab is cheaper

© Google Maps says '39 minutes without traffic' to Gatwick, but I'd plan on an hour

(d) Not sure about the M4, it's about 20 miles via some potentially heavy traffic

(e) The schools are probably not the best selling point, in that there's no 'outstanding' school (unless you are Catholic).

Still attractive, but several towns just outside the M25 have similar attributes (although the airports and motorways nearby might be slightly different), so it's not unique by any means.

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Orpington - London is £1900/year (point-to-point - valid into Cannon Street)

Woking - London travel card is £3,792

Near as damnit £2k

Thanks for that.

BTW it is not 25 minutes to London - that might be the timetabled time but it used to be always more than that. (I hope it has improved).

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It should be within a couple of minutes shouldn't it? The Surbiton trains generally take a few minutes more than timetable in the morning due to the bottleneck at Waterloo, but are often a few minutes quicker on the way back. (Quickest I have ever noticed was 12 minutes on a 16 minute timetabled journey!)

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Rental market doesn't seem to be doing much.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-31538148.html£2500 pcm, this would probably list at £800k

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-50654345.html- similarly

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-33424497.html£2,000 pcm at least £700k

Demand must be quite thin to rent such properties. Dead money, innit?

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The dead money mantra is even stronger now, and perhaps rightly so.

It used to be about using money to pay off your own mortgage rather than your landlord's, but no one really pays off their mortgage anymore so it doesn't matter as much. The reason that a lot of people now see renting as dead money is that they will miss out on the 20% annual increase in the base price of houses if they don't buy now.

Low interest rates have really distorted the divide between buying and renting. Just imagine 20 years ago being able to rent an £800k house for £2.5k per month. In Woking, that house would have been a huge mansion and it probably would have cost more than twice that to rent.

The problem is, the interest rates still make it cheaper to buy than rent. If you have got the income to borrow £800k at 2%, the interest will still be half of the rental cost of that first house, and you can look forward to your 20% annual reward from the government for being a homeowner!

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Seems you can borrow money from as little as 1.18% on a 2-year fix, albeit on a 65% LTV.

http://www.moneysupermarket.com/mortgages/

This is close to free money IMO. Of course on an £800k house you would therefore be bringing about £300k in equity from a previous house, plus earning a six-figure sum.

All of which is extremely attractive for the 40-something city worker with profit from previous house purchases to put in.

So that leaves the rental market at this level to the likes of ex-pats on temporary contracts (for jobs in London most will be put up there, but there are a few international employers in the vicinity of Woking, in which case you wouldn't want a house in London), and a younger high earners (because £2,000/month is £41k-45k of gross income @ 42%/47% NI/IT before you pay for anything else) , who didn't 'get on the ladder' in time.

Of course the same target market as in years gone by, and it should have grown, as those in their late twenties on six-figure salaries can not afford a nice house anywhere nearby, but it shows that the fundamentals, outside of nearly-free money for the already affluent, and government schemes to keep boosting prices, are weak.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a house we lookedat in 2006. Shows on Land Registry as sold for £380k in August 2007. We didn't like at all - small plot, and the house itself is cramped

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/36437736

Now up for 'offers over £585k', doesn't look they've done a thing to it.

Lots of other optimistic pricing around. £455k for this in 2013, now £750k reduced to £700k http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/36218969

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Here's a house we lookedat in 2006. Shows on Land Registry as sold for £380k in August 2007. We didn't like at all - small plot, and the house itself is cramped

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/36437736

Now up for 'offers over £585k', doesn't look they've done a thing to it.

Lots of other optimistic pricing around. £455k for this in 2013, now £750k reduced to £700k http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/36218969

both having a laugh the garden in the first one is laughable , looks like a council house to me and no more than 250k

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both having a laugh the garden in the first one is laughable , looks like a council house to me and no more than 250k

Yeah it was horrid tbh, as you can see in the background in the main picture there's a fairly large (92 flats) council estate immediately behind

http://www.mountgreen.org.uk/graylands

You are also on the corner of the main path linking Woking with Horsell (the fence behind the trampoline in picture 11 is all that separates you), so you are going to get quite a lot of foot traffic passing by. Also as the pictures show there is not one good-sized bedroom in the house - two are less than 7-foot wide, and the widest under 10-foot.

When we looked at it, we wondered why it was cheaper than other four bed houses, but we immediately noticed why....

That said, there are no longer any four-bed detached houses in centralish Woking under £600k, so I guess that's still the case.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Newly constructed block of around 8 flats had several very foreign looking visitors today. Housing benefit? Three different estate agent signs outside advertise 'To Let', with one saying 'Numbers 1, 4 and 5'

This one is particularly deceptive - it's actually right on the main road, but they manage to make it look some kind of rural idyll

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-52077044.html

Grass needs cutting

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-52183889.html

Too expensive

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-52333022.html

They could have taken the sh*tter off the front drive

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-34568544.html

It's only 542 sq ft!

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-52077044.html

Yep, they really have put every bloody flat up in the place to rent

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-49770733.html

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I have seen a few new blocks and conversions in my area that have all gone straight to rental. One company even had the cheek to use the slogan 'designed for those who prefer to rent'.

A few years ago, I used to think that this happened because they couldn't physically sell them. Now I think it is more due to the fact they want to hang on to them for as along as possible because the value is going up so fast!

Either way, £1,200psm for a 542 sqft flat on a main road is pushing it just a bit, isn't it?

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  • 9 months later...

Woking is officially the second least deprived city or town in the UK, according to Office of National Statistics data which applies rating for factors such as income, employment, health, education, skills and training and crime level.

Guildford tops the list, so can continue to look down on its Surrey sister. :unsure:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35842488

I'm a little surprised Woking is so far up, and how far ahead both Guildford and Woking are of other UK towns (both 10% clear of the chasing pack, places like St Albans, Bath etc) . I don't know how areas are defined and where the borders of towns are identified, but I can only imagine both these bastions of Surrey commuter belt-ism exploit the nice surrounding rural areas in their data to get this far ahead. I'm thinking Hastelmere, Worplesdon, Chobham etc.

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  • 7 months later...

Having lived in Woking all my life, and still unable to get onto the housing ladder, I find it depressing when I see ludicrous house prices.

Even the crappy parts of Woking (I grew up in one) are asking for extortionate money. The area is becoming very polluted too, I can see that when I clean the Windows!  Landlords charge a ridiculous amount too, which makes it very hard to save a sizeable deposit to make up the mortgage shortfall.

I have had kept a close eye on the market in the last three months and prices are certainly tumbling. However, this is never mentioned by anyone, estate agents, sellers, politicians want to keep prices sky high. 

you heard it here- they are coming down in Woking.

 

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Hi mathschoc, hopefully Guildford will follow suit. My son is hoping to buy if prices come down a bit. The prices really are shocking. I originally come from Woking so look at that area sometimes. I've just seen a 3 bed terrace on Barnsbury Estate sold at 400k plus :o

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 28/10/2016 at 0:01 AM, mathschoc said:

Having lived in Woking all my life, and still unable to get onto the housing ladder, I find it depressing when I see ludicrous house prices.

Even the crappy parts of Woking (I grew up in one) are asking for extortionate money. The area is becoming very polluted too, I can see that when I clean the Windows!  Landlords charge a ridiculous amount too, which makes it very hard to save a sizeable deposit to make up the mortgage shortfall.

I have had kept a close eye on the market in the last three months and prices are certainly tumbling. However, this is never mentioned by anyone, estate agents, sellers, politicians want to keep prices sky high. 

you heard it here- they are coming down in Woking.

 

I have been looking in areas in preparation for a drop...and let me just say I am a bit confused!!

£700k / 4 bed with a nice frontage, 140 sqm, garage, driveway is the current search criteria.

We are looking at both Woking/Guildford, and what I am seeing with my own eyes appears to differ from peoples opinions online.

Guildford - Largely raved about online as a lovely place to live, however I drove around quite a bit today and whilst the centre is certainly appealing, the housing stock simply looks miserable ! Lots of rotten looking town houses and narrow street,  apart from the stuff right next to the highstreet which is millions. What is the appeal to live here?, apart from the highstreet? Have I just driven around the rotten parts. e.g. stoughton road and madrid road/side roads?

Woking - This largely seems to be slated online, with lots of talk of chavs, anti social drinking, horrendous areas, but I have driven around today and within a mile there are some lovely homes on pretty tree lined street and within budget. E.g north of woking/horsell.

What is reality in this area, are are there any areas within about a 40 minute train ride of London I am missing?

 

 

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On 13/11/2016 at 7:10 PM, ItalianV6 said:

We are looking at both Woking/Guildford, and what I am seeing with my own eyes appears to differ from peoples opinions online.

Guildford - Largely raved about online as a lovely place to live, however I drove around quite a bit today and whilst the centre is certainly appealing, the housing stock simply looks miserable ! Lots of rotten looking town houses and narrow street,  apart from the stuff right next to the highstreet which is millions. What is the appeal to live here?, apart from the highstreet? Have I just driven around the rotten parts. e.g. stoughton road and madrid road/side roads?

Woking - This largely seems to be slated online, with lots of talk of chavs, anti social drinking, horrendous areas, but I have driven around today and within a mile there are some lovely homes on pretty tree lined street and within budget. E.g north of woking/horsell.

What is reality in this area, are are there any areas within about a 40 minute train ride of London I am missing?

I have lived in the area between both Woking and Guildford for 4 years and I agree with this analysis.  Woking is safe, a little boring but very middle class and actually quite chavless.  Guildford is more varied, has a large student population with nightclubs and young people centred events and a more diverse population in terms of wealth: greater extremes of well off and working class.  In comparison, everyone in Woking looks like they are on their way to the golf course or heading to their accountancy practice (A Jeremy Clarkson observation) .  The pub near me closed and actually turned into an accountancy practice, and that's the area in one anecdotal. Guildford more extreme, Woking more uniform, but both communities of comfort and affluence compared to the average area of the UK.  

There are two reasons why the good bits of Guildford are remembered alongside the bad bits of Woking in most online comparisons.  The first is snobbery, a rife Surrey trait where Woking is somehow seen as inferior, even though the average bit of Woking is probably as leafy and safe, if not more so, than the average part of Guildford: Woking being more uniform and Guildford a bit more varied. Guildford is the county town remembered for its clock and cobbles and county show while Woking is some place on the trainline to London with concrete buildings in the town centre and little history or vibe.  

The vibe is the second reason - many locals buying nice houses in the area  are moving out of London with a decent budget and still harbour urban lifestyle expectations and find Woking too much of a culture shock with little to really do in terms of leisure facilities, eateries, wine bars or nightlife.  You stay in your middle class house in Woking every evening and get middle aged in unexciting comfort. Theres always the golf course on saturday (plenty to choose from).  Guildford is the only choice for al fresco dining, upper end shopping, posh departmental stores, late night dancing and boutiques whenever you want.  Hence ex-London professionals without children, or with energy to socialise while also raising children, are drawn to Guildford very strongly.      

The woking commute is excellent in term of time spent commuting in terms of lifestyle enhancement for that sacrifise .  Village life in the area is good around both Guildford and Woking, but again be prepared to throw away expectations of cosmopolitan living  in that choice - some villages even have train stations and great train links to London so no need to pay for a car parking space at the station. 

Quote

 

 

Edited by Does Commute Abit
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13 hours ago, Does Commute Abit said:

I have lived in the area between both Woking and Guildford for 4 years and I agree with this analysis.  Woking is safe, a little boring but very middle class and actually quite chavless.  Guildford is more varied, has a large student population with nightclubs and young people centred events and a more diverse population in terms of wealth: greater extremes of well off and working class.  In comparison, everyone in Woking looks like they are on their way to the golf course or heading to their accountancy practice (A Jeremy Clarkson observation) .  The pub near me closed and actually turned into an accountancy practice, and that's the area in one anecdotal. Guildford more extreme, Woking more uniform, but both communities of comfort and affluence compared to the average area of the UK.  

There are two reasons why the good bits of Guildford are remembered alongside the bad bits of Woking in most online comparisons.  The first is snobbery, a rife Surrey trait where Woking is somehow seen as inferior, even though the average bit of Woking is probably as leafy and safe, if not more so, than the average part of Guildford: Woking being more uniform and Guildford a bit more varied. Guildford is the county town remembered for its clock and cobbles and county show while Woking is some place on the trainline to London with concrete buildings in the town centre and little history or vibe.  

The vibe is the second reason - many locals buying nice houses in the area  are moving out of London with a decent budget and still harbour urban lifestyle expectations and find Woking too much of a culture shock with little to really do in terms of leisure facilities, eateries, wine bars or nightlife.  You stay in your middle class house in Woking every evening and get middle aged in unexciting comfort. Theres always the golf course on saturday (plenty to choose from).  Guildford is the only choice for al fresco dining, upper end shopping, posh departmental stores, late night dancing and boutiques whenever you want.  Hence ex-London professionals without children, or with energy to socialise while also raising children, are drawn to Guildford very strongly.      

The woking commute is excellent in term of time spent commuting in terms of lifestyle enhancement for that sacrifise .  Village life in the area is good around both Guildford and Woking, but again be prepared to throw away expectations of cosmopolitan living  in that choice - some villages even have train stations and great train links to London so no need to pay for a car parking space at the station. 

 

Thanks great summary, and I think it mirrors our/my view.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/28/2016 at 6:01 AM, mathschoc said:

Having lived in Woking all my life, and still unable to get onto the housing ladder, I find it depressing when I see ludicrous house prices.

Even the crappy parts of Woking (I grew up in one) are asking for extortionate money. The area is becoming very polluted too, I can see that when I clean the Windows!  Landlords charge a ridiculous amount too, which makes it very hard to save a sizeable deposit to make up the mortgage shortfall.

I have had kept a close eye on the market in the last three months and prices are certainly tumbling. However, this is never mentioned by anyone, estate agents, sellers, politicians want to keep prices sky high. 

you heard it here- they are coming down in Woking.

 

I'm not seeing much evidence of that.

This is dross for £500k http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-56599603.html

 

3-bed detached sold @ £690k http://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=53843221&sale=88435008&country=england

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On 4 December 2016 at 0:43 PM, bambam said:

Down by 30k:

http://m.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/41704835?search_identifier=b804740760516e79050e88a7d516023e

Reduced by 80k sold:

http://m.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/40821995?search_identifier=1f94e2a57a09bdcb447775d5d7c9e62c

Reduced by 60k:

 

http://m.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/photos/40664928

 

They are coming down, the odd ones are being bought by silly prices by a muppet, but the average is down

 

 

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