Autumn 2022: Is now a good time to sell my Surrey property?

Financial pressure on households means that we’re currently facing more challenging conditions in the property market, but there’s an important distinction to make that ‘challenging’ does not mean impossible and it’s under these circumstances that good agents (such as Seymours) thrive on behalf of their clients.

Everywhere you look prices are going up, energy bills, food and petrol prices have all risen dramatically so it wasn’t a surprise to see the Bank of England raise interest rates by 0.75 percentage points to 3% in an attempt to curb inflation.

As a reaction to these recent economic changes and turmoil in Westminster, it’s not unexpected for people to want to pause, take a breath and consider whether now is the right time to sell their home. The good news is that things aren’t quite as bad as you might think reading the national newspapers and the right agent can help you navigate the current market successfully.


Market Commentary From Our Industry Professionals

We spoke to the partners and sales managers in our branches to hear the latest about the Surrey property market. To keep up with all the latest news affecting the housing market, follow your nearest Seymours Instagram, where we provide regular local insights into your property market.

Returning to a normal market

If you look at where the market was from 2020, we’ve experienced a rush of activity that has been way above what one would normally expect of the Surrey property market. The government’s recent Stamp Duty Holiday fuelled a market that was already very busy following the coronavirus lockdowns, resulting in almost every sale receiving multiple offers over the asking price. For the last two years we’ve seen sales happen at a rate that was simply unsustainable, a fact evidenced by the prolonged and drawn out conveyancing journey many buyers have endured in recent months, with many solicitors buckling under the weight of transactions in the market.

Whilst it may have rained for almost all of Autumn 2022, it may all feel like it’s all doom and gloom in the Surrey property market if you read the national press, but in reality recent political end economic pressures have simply returned us to more of a ‘normal’ market. Over the last decade people have become accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle afforded in no small part by low interest rates which has released funds that would normally be spent on housing.

What we’re experiencing now is a market very similar to conditions those before the Financial Crisis of 2008, both in activity levels and mortgage interest rates – market conditions that will see people re-assess their spending habits in the short term as we return to a higher cost of borrowing, but nonetheless people will continue to move when they have a real need or desire to do so.

Do interest rate rises mean fewer buyers in the market?

Mortgage rates too are returning to a more ‘normal’ level following more than a decade of the lowest interest rates in the Bank of England’s 300 year history (source: Bank of England). Interest rates were cut all the way down to 0.5% in an effort to support the economy in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008/9 and despite the base rate being raised to 3%, we’re still below the average of 5% that has existed since the early 1990’s.

Changes to interest rates mean that those reliant on large mortgages as a proportion of the purchase may be more limited in terms of what they can afford, but in reality 49% of properties purchased in Surrey are done so without a mortgage (source: Land Registry). This means if you’re trying to sell in the current market there is still a great chance of finding a buyer whose purchasing ability has been unaffected by recent events.

Even when you look at the 51% of buyers who rely on a mortgage, there’s still a very healthy number of mortgaged buyers around – there were 66,700 mortgages approved in October, which despite the rise in interest rates, this figure was more than the number of mortgages approved in June, July and August this year and still more than pre-pandemic levels of October 2019 (source


Can I still sell my home in the current market?

Looking at the health of the market today, there are some people who have been put off selling by the national headlines or put their moving plans on ice as a forced reaction to interest rate rises, but there are still buyers out there and homeowners have a great chance of achieving a good price for their home in the current market if you work with the right estate agent.

Surrey and the suburbs of south London benefit from their prerenal popularity of our proximity to the capital, good schooling and access to green space, which means properties are always in demand from buyers despite any turbulence in the market.

Yes there may be fewer buyers around and if you list your home for sale on rightmove, it’s probably unrealistic to expect the offers to come flooding in over the asking price. This certainly is not the market in which to expect to achieve a record high price for your property, but also consider that where you’re moving to will be experiencing the same challenges and so the achievable price for your property is relative to what you’ll pay for your onward purchase.

To make the most from your move, our advice is twofold:

1. Work with an experienced agent that has seen this market before. Many estate agents with less than 15 years experience won’t have experienced the current market conditions as you have to go back to before the Financial Crash of 2008/9 to have worked in similar conditions.

2. Be sensible with your pricing and there’s a very good chance of achieving a quick sale on your property.

Seymours has been helping sellers and buyers for the past 30 years and with a network of 20 branches, each of which is run by a mature and experienced team, know one knows how to navigate property turbulence better than we do. Now is the time for where Seymours experience, exemplary marketing and attention to detail, not to mention interaction and communication across our entire network, will ensure the best buyers are found and the best possible prices are achieved for our clients.

It simply won’t be good enough to put a property on Rightmove and for it to sell for a record price, instead we’ll be continuing to actively match buyers to properties we have to sell and using the full selling power of our network of 20 offices throughout Surrey all working together to sell our clients’ homes.


Searching for your next home?

In recent months we’ve invested thousands of pounds into our revolutionary off market property search engine, which has been designed to help homeowners understand there are plenty of properties they could move to within any given area. We’re encouraging all homeowners and would-be movers to take a look for their dream home on Seymours Smart Search and get in touch with us to help us understand their moving requirements.


Rental Market Update

The rental market is thriving, as people looking to move who may have been affected by rising interest rates consider their options for renting instead of buying. Investment purchases are still strong as cash buyers look to make capital appreciation gains over the long term view.

Buy-to-let investors can still expect high demand as many people continue to relocate out of London for more attractive homeworking surroundings outside of the capital.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science commented “The era of historically low interest rates looks to be over, which is making it more challenging for new first-time buyers stretching themselves financially to try and get out of the frenzied rental market and onto the housing ladder” – a fact that should provide comfort to investors about continuing as a landlord rather than selling their property investment.

For those who need to move but are struggling to find a buyer, rising rental rates and high demand from tenants mean letting your property could now be a viable alternative to selling in the current market.

Tips for First Time Landlords

If you’re unsure of where to start, a conversation Seymours should be your first port of call to get an understanding of all the legislation and procedural regulations you need to adhere to as a first time landlord – something we can guide you through if this sounds like an option you may consider.

Autumn 2022: Is now a good time to sell my Surrey property?