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The Property Market Is Tough But Surrey Is Holding Its Own

Published on: 25 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 21 Aug, 2015

By Claire Dee

Surrey’s resilience in the face of the toughest property market conditions for decades has been applauded at a Guildford property seminar.

Opening proceedings, PKF real estate partner Jeff Jeffries said: “The economic climate remains challenging.  Over the past four years, GDP has contracted 7% and continues to fall, with latest growth for the year forecast to be flat at 0.2%, and a rather optimistic 1.4% predicted for 2013.

Jeff Jeffries of PKF

“This has had a significant impact on the property market which is considerably down on the number of houses built (40%) and average house prices (7%) on five years ago.  Surrey, however, is bucking the trend, still with fewer houses built (down 25%) but with average house price growth, albeit modest, of 5% to £303,881 compared to the national average of £162,900.”

Planning and environmental specialist Catherine Davey, a consultant at Stevens & Bolton, discussed recent legislative changes impacting the property sector including the National Planning Policy Framework.

Catherine Davey, Consultant

She said: “Planning is entering a brave new world.  Many see the current system as a barrier to growth which the new Framework policies aim to remove.

“However, the changes will only really kick-in after March 2013, when Framework policies will take precedent over even post-2004 local Development Plan policies which don’t comply with the Framework.”

The seminar also highlighted the need for the local property industry to plan across the board to guarantee successful results: from council’s duties to cooperate – of which Woking Borough Council was hailed a good example of best practice – through to knowing and mitigating tax liabilities, and producing thorough business plans to encourage banks to lend.

State of Play 2012 – The Prospects for Property, was held on 20 September at the Holiday Inn, Guilford, attracting around 50 delegates from the local business community. It was co-hosted by the Guildford office of leading accountancy firm PKF (UK) LLP and Guildford law firm Stevens & Bolton. LLP Speakers included Catherine Davey from Stevens & Bolton LLP, Chris Wilmshurst from Vail Williams LLP, Marios Gregori from PKF (UK) LLP, and Nicola Hinkley from Blacktower Financial Advisers.

Claire Dee can be contacted at:

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