WHY MOVE TO WOKING, SURREY?
Surrey has more than its fair share of posh, polished commuter dormitory towns where golf club membership and a four-wheel drive seem to come as standard. Woking is not one of them. It’s dull… but there is hope.
It does have a London commute of less than half an hour, and very affordable homes compared to the likes of Guildford. However, the dreary high street has low-rent shops, while the property stock is a mixed bag.
The town centre is in the process of being sorted thanks to a £460 million regeneration project. Work has begun on Victoria Square and by 2020 the town will have a new shopping centre — Marks & Spencer has already signed up. There will also be two new squares, a hotel and more than 400 new flats.
- Average property price: £469,033
- Price increase since 2007: 55 per cent
- Average price for a house: £613,052
- Journey time: 24 minutes
Regeneration aside, Woking already has plenty of neighbourhood restaurants and pubs, a theatre, leisure centre, and a park with swimming pool and sports facilities. Added to that its schools are mostly high achieving — Knaphill Lower School and St John the Baptist Catholic comprehensive school are rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.
Buyers interested in Woking will have to take the architectural pain because in the Eighties and the Noughties the town was blemished by a series of really bland, boxy housing developments that dominate the lower end of its property market.
If you want looks as well as affordability, you could pick up a two-to-three-bedroom Victorian cottage in Old Woking for about £400,000.
A budget of £550,000-£750,000 would buy a roomy three-bedroom Victorian or early 20th-century semi-detached house near the town centre, or a detached house with four bedrooms on a modern development such as Brookwood Farm.
Affluent commuter suburbs nearby, including Hook Heath, offer detached Arts & Crafts houses with large gardens, priced from £900,000-£1 million.
And Woking does have the odd private estate — this is Surrey after all. A rambling trophy house in an address such as The Hockering could cost well over £3 million, while it would be equally easy to spend £2 million on a barn conversion or a manor house on the outskirts.