14 Mar US tenants drive lettings market in Surrey
According to data from Surrey’s Best Estate Agent, Barton Wyatt, US nationals are driving the lettings market in north Surrey, accounting for 45% of all tenants in rented properties in 2011. Established in Virginia Water for nearly 50 years, the award winning agency Barton Wyatt which specialises in high end lettings as well as property sales, also revealed that despite the majority of rental stock in 2011 being privately let, almost 20% was let to companies and their employees.
Commenting on the findings, Partner James Wyatt, who celebrates his silver anniversary at Barton Wyatt this year, said:
“In line with the recent findings from PrimeLocation.com which revealed that the location from which the highest volume of searches for British property to buy was the US at 21%, we too have seen a resurgence in US nationals renting in the North Surrey area, accounting for nearly half of all lets in 2011.”
“During the recession we saw a decrease in the volume of corporate lets particularly with many international companies downsizing operations or relocating, many back to the US. In 2011 however we saw this trend reverse with US professionals and their families once again returning to the area for employment which in turn has boosted the corporate lettings market.”
Of Barton Wyatt’s corporate tenants, the most popular sectors of employment in 2011 were energy at 19%, finance at 15% and telecoms and pharmaceuticals each accounting for 10%. As Lettings Manger, Joanne Parris explains, “Some of our biggest corporate letting clients include oil and gas giants BP and Shell as well as the 10th largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Eli Lilly and American corporation, Dow Chemicals.”
Indeed this leafy corner of Surrey, in and around Virginia Water, only 42 minutes by direct train to Central London, seems to be the preferred destination not only for major US conglomerates to house their UK operations but also for employees to reside. A number of American expat groups and communities exist in Surrey such as the American Women of Berkshire & Surrey and the presence of not only TASIS in Thorpe but the ACS International Schools in Egham and Cobham is highly appealing to families.
These flavours of home combined with the large, often American style open-plan properties on offer in the area make it an obvious choice. As James Wyatt points out, “Over the years we have seen a greater demand from our US tenants for larger detached homes with properties in the area now averaging a substantial 5 – 6000 sq.ft. 4 and 5 bedroom properties are frequently the most popular with smaller 1 and 2 bedroom apartments barely rented by this market.”
One such home, available to rent today is Sylvanus House located in Sunningdale. This great family house just minutes from the shops and mainline train station comprises master suite with full dressing area, guest suite with bathroom and dressing area, 3 further bedrooms, family bathroom, living room, dining room, study, open-plan kitchen / breakfast room leading to a family room as well as a double integral garden and gardens to the front and rear. Available for £4,750 per calendar month, this type of property is ideal for corporate tenants and won’t stay on the market for long.
For more information on the rental market in Surrey contact the experts at Barton Wyatt on 01344 843 000 or visit www.bartonwyatt.co.uk.