Amanda has worked in estate agency in the Southeast of England for a number of years in both residential and commercial property sales.
Finding a Cheap House in Surrey
To be perfectly honest, you are about as likely to find a cheap three-bedroom home in Surrey as you are to find a whale in the Thames. Well, okay, that did actually happen, but only twice that I can recall.
Surrey is a beautiful, historic county with chocolate-box villages and fantastic access to the nation's capital. House prices here are frankly eye-wateringly high compared to much of the rest of the country. That said, however, it is still possible to find 'relative' bargains if you are prepared to look further afield. Use the comparison table below to find the more affordable towns; then, if you still can't find anything cheap enough, check out the adjoining counties.
The Stamp Duty holiday introduced during the 2020 lockdown finally came to an end on 30th June 2021. From 1st July 2021, Stamp Duty once again became payable on properties valued at less than £500,000. This particularly affects house buyers across the South-East, where even basic homes are extremely costly.
It's almost impossible to avoid this unfairest of taxes in Surrey, Sussex, Kent or Hampshire, but there are still a few locations where you can buy property without incurring too heavy a burden. If buying an inexpensive house is your priority over and above location, then look at the Hampshire and Kent articles to find cheaper towns within commutable distance of the capital.
Basic 3-Bedroom House Price by Location in Surrey
Kingston upon Thames
Estate Agents in Camberley have basic three-bedroom homes on offer from around £350,000, and there seems to be a reasonable selection of properties in the £360,000 to £415,000 price range (August 2021). Although on a rail route, Camberley has no direct line trains into London. Commuters based in Camberley are best advised to drive to nearby Farnborough and get a direct train into Waterloo from there. The town has good employment opportunities. Companies such as Siemens, Oracle, and Krispy Kreme UK are all based nearby. Camberley town centre reflects the thriving local economy and has very good shopping and leisure facilities. There are schools catering up to sixth form level within the town, and three universities within a 20-mile radius.
Three-bedroom houses can be bought in Caterham from around £415,000 with an occasional bargain slipping in a little below that. Commuters into London like this historic town because the rail journey into London Victoria takes under an hour on a direct line. The town has a mix of state and private schools with educational opportunities up to the sixth form level. There is a useful shopping mall and reasonable sports and leisure facilities within the town.
Chertsey is one of the oldest towns in England, having grown up around Chertsey Abbey which was founded in 666 AD. Three-bedroom houses may be bought in this historic town from approximately £425,000. The town has a mix of state and private schools, as well as a hospital with an A & E department. There are good local shops. The train commute into London Waterloo takes about an hour from Chertsey station.
Chessington, Hook and Fleetwood
Well known for its famous zoo and adventure park, Chessington is firmly in the London stockbroker belt, and house prices reflect this. On the day this article was updated (August 2021) there was only a handful of basic three-bedroom properties priced between £450,000 and £500,000 available. The recent run on property fuelled by the stamp duty holiday has certainly left its mark on Chessington.
The town has grown over recent years and has swallowed up the villages of Hook and Fleetwood, which are now considered to be areas of Chessington. The train journey from Chessington North station into London Waterloo takes about 35 minutes.
You might just get lucky in Cranleigh, and find one of those elusive three-bedroom houses which occasionally come to the market for £325,000 or less, but being completely realistic, you need to have at least £370,000 in your budget to be certain of a property in this popular Surrey village. Property prices in Cranleigh don't seem to have risen as sharply as elsewhere in Surrey, but there has still been an increase and there is not a great deal available at the cheaper end of the market. (August 2021)
Situated just a couple of miles from the Wey and Arun Canal, Cranleigh first began to grow and thrive as transport links improved. The canal was soon to be surpassed, however, by the wonders of the railroad, and the opening of a station at Cranleigh in 1865. Sadly, this little station was one of many that disappeared under Dr. Beeching's re-organization in 1965, but the village was already well-established by then and is today believed to be the largest in England.
Situated right on the doorstep of the capital, Croydon offers some surprising bargains in terms of property. Three-bedroom houses here may be bought from as little as £375,000 (as of August 2021). A typical journey by rail to London Victoria is between 20 and 30 minutes. Croydon is a major town with all the facilities you might expect, including the Whitgift Shopping Centre.
With so little on the market in Dorking, it's not surprising that most of the cheapest three-bedroom houses available are well over £375,000. It's important to always do your own research, and you might just find the occasional property in the area that is offered under this figure, but most realistic house-buyers will probably be looking elsewhere for their first family home. Rail commuters can get into London Waterloo on a direct line, in under an hour from Dorking.
£350,000 might just about be enough to secure you a basic three-bedroom house in Epsom, but you'd better hurry because there's not much available to buy at the bottom end of the market. Family homes priced under £400,000 are few and far between in leafy Epsom.
Best known as the home of the Epsom Derby, the town was recorded in the Domesday Book and has many historic buildings within its boundaries. Epsom has excellent schools, with educational opportunities through to university level. There are good retail, sports and leisure facilities locally, and the train commute from Epsom to London Waterloo typically takes around 40 minutes.
Esher has a few three-bedroom properties for sale from a little under £600,000. Lower-priced property seems to be in extremely short supply in this North Surrey town, and the cheapest houses quickly get snapped up. Cut through by the River Mole, Esher is a pretty little town with a good mix of state and private schools through to Further Education level. Commuters into the capital can make the rail journey from Esher into London Waterloo in just over half an hour.
Waverley Abbey, Britain’s first Cistercian monastery was established in Farnham in 1128, and its ruins remain for visitors to enjoy. As well as these ancient monastic relics, the town is overlooked by a handsome 12th-century castle, and there are numerous other ancient and historic sites locally. Farnham High Street has a good sprinkling of independent traders amongst the multiples, and the town is blessed with a good choice of schools for all ages including a further education college. Trains from Farnham into London Waterloo take around 40 minutes. Smaller three-bedroom properties can be bought here from slightly less than £375,000.
Godalming is a popular commuter town, and a recent survey named it as one of the best places in the UK to live. With excellent transport links and a wealth of attractive properties, it will come as no surprise to learn that even the most basic three-bedroom house in Godalming is likely to cost you upwards of £410,000. Good local schools through to sixth form level, and good shopping, and sports and leisure facilities, help ensure the continuing popularity of this historic market town. Commuters can travel by rail from here to London Waterloo in approximately 50 minutes.
The university town of Guildford has three-bedroom family homes for sale from around £375,000. Guildford is the county town of Surrey and has a long history, dating back to Saxon times. Home to both the University of Surrey, and the wonderfully equipped Spectrum Leisure Centre, which incorporates a full-size ice rink, the town has a great range of facilities. The town centre boasts a comprehensive range of high street names, and there are some quirky little nooks and crannies housing unusual independent boutiques and highly individual eateries and bars. A typical rail commute from Guildford to London Waterloo will take around 40 minutes.
Don't even start looking for a three-bedroom house in Haslemere unless you have at least £390,000 in your budget, and even that may not be enough.
Haslemere is the most southerly town in Surrey, lying close to the borders of both Sussex and Hampshire. A settlement was known of in this area as early as the 13th century, but it did not begin to flourish until the arrival of the railway in the 19th century. Modern-day Haslemere is quite a sought-after location. With no less than three private schools locally, as well as state school provision through to sixth form, a sports and leisure centre, and good, local shopping facilities, the town is undeniably popular. The direct line commute by train into London Waterloo takes a little under an hour.
Horley is close to Gatwick Airport, so there are a lot of pros and cons to living here. One great advantage is that there are usually plenty of airport-based jobs right on your doorstep. With the advent of the Covid pandemic, however, this is probably not the case at present, though hopefully, better times will soon return to Horley, and indeed the UK as a whole. Being in the flight path of so many planes, is of course, a disadvantage, but for the time being at least, the skies are fairly empty.
With excellent transport links and the fact that Horley is within three-quarters of an hour commuting distance of London, Horley actually has some reasonably priced houses. They're not cheap as such, but still, cheaper than many places in Surrey. £340,000, or maybe even a little less, will still buy a basic three-bedroom house in Horley. Current circumstances have contrived to make the town a more affordable place to buy. Usually, there aren't too many houses coming on the market in the lower price range but there are numerous budget-priced homes available in Horley at present, many having seen price reductions over recent weeks.
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames is a delightful town. Its pretty riverside location helps ensure that it is picture-perfect. Lying on the borders of two ancient kingdoms, Mercia and Wessex, the town was the site of a number of 10th-century coronations, and the 'coronation stone' on which these are thought to have taken place is now proudly displayed in the grounds of the Guildhall. The town boasts educational establishments through to university level, excellent retail, sports & leisure facilities, and very good transport links. A typical commute by rail to London Waterloo will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes from Kingston-upon-Thames. Basic three-bedroom houses can be bought from around £500,000, but be quick because there is very little coming on the market at the cheaper end just now (August 2021).
Leatherhead was once a Roman settlement, and it has been a place of some note for many centuries. The town centre boasts a number of interesting old buildings, and the town itself is prosperous and has excellent shopping, leisure, and educational provision. There are good employment opportunities locally, and the rail commute into London Waterloo takes around three-quarters of an hour. Estate Agents in Leatherhead very occasionally have three-bedroom properties on offer just under the £450,000 mark, but realistically this is a town where only the well-heeled can make a start on the housing ladder.
Estate Agents in Camberley have basic three-bedroom homes on offer from around £350,000, and there seems to be a good selection available in the £370,000 to £415,000 price range (August 2021). Although on a rail route, Camberley has no direct line trains into London. Commuters based in Camberley are best advised to drive to nearby Farnborough and get a direct train into Waterloo from there. The town has good employment opportunities. Companies such as Siemens, Oracle, and Krispy Kreme UK are all based nearby. Camberley town centre reflects the thriving local economy and has very good shopping and leisure facilities. There are schools catering up to sixth form level within the town, and three universities within a 20-mile radius.
Oxshott is an attractive heathland village that lies between the towns of Esher and Leatherhead. The village has a number of large private properties and many well-heeled residents. It is popularly believed to be the "most expensive village in England."
Oxshott lies on one of the main commuter lines, and a journey into London Waterloo from here takes approximately 40 minutes. The village has a mixture of state and private schools, and there are two excellent pubs and a good sprinkling of everyday shops in the village centre. On the day that I researched this article the cheapest available family-sized house in Oxshott was £1,200,000 (as of August 2021).
Three-bedroom houses start at around £450,000 in Oxted and escalate very quickly upwards. Oxted is a commuter town at the foot of the North Downs, south-east of Croydon. Direct train services to both London Bridge, and London Victoria take around 30 to 40 minutes from Oxted Station.
Oxted has an attractive, historic High Street with many older buildings still standing alongside more recent developments. The local state schools offer education through to sixth form. The town has a thriving social life, with many organisations and clubs within the community, offering diverse entertainments including a brass band, an annual pram race, and a yearly beer festival.
£450,000, or maybe just a little under, should be enough to buy a basic three-bedroom property in Purley. Situated just south of Croydon, the little town has long since been swallowed up by London. The town itself has good local state schools, supermarkets, and other basic shops in the town centre, and excellent rail and road links with London. A typical commute from Purley station to London Victoria will take between 30 to 40 minutes.
Firmly in the London Commuter Belt, Redhill adjoins the town of Reigate to the West and is part of the urban sprawl which surrounds the Capital. Three-bedroom houses can be bought here from a little under £365,000. Most of the housing stock is fairly modern, although the town itself was first properly established in Victorian times. Redhill has excellent transport links, good shopping and leisure facilities, and schools and a college catering up to Further Education level. Commuters can travel via rail into London Victoria in approximately half an hour from Redhill.
Three-bedroom houses can be bought in Reigate from around £400,000, although the cheaper properties are few and far between here. Situated at the foot of the North Downs, and within the London commuter belt, the town boasts a medieval castle and a 13th-century priory within its boundaries. Conveniently located on a main road route into London, Reigate is also only around 45 minutes from London Victoria by train.
Salfords is a village in the borough of Reigate and Banstead, close to Redhill. Three-bedroom properties here start from a little under £450,000. The village has a state primary school, but no senior school provision. Lying on the main Brighton-London rail route, commuters can get into London Victoria in approximately 45 minutes.
If you're looking for the good life in Surbiton, be sure you have at least £450,000 in your budget, because that's what basic three-bedroom houses are going for these days. Surbiton has long since been swallowed up in South West London's urban sprawl, and its favoured position within commuter distance of the City of London ensures that house prices stay high. A typical rail journey from Surbiton's attractive Art Deco railway station, to Waterloo, takes around 20 minutes.
Sutton, Carshalton and Cheam
House prices in Sutton are just slightly more affordable than the leafier areas of Surrey. On the day I updated this article (August 2021) there were several 3 bedroom houses listed in Sutton, and in nearby Carshalton and Cheam, priced comfortably under £400,000. Despite being swallowed up by London, Sutton, Carshalton and Cheam have retained their own individual identities, and Cheam in particular still has quite a village feel in parts. The typical rail commute into London from Sutton takes between 30 and 40 minutes. Carshalton and Cheam both also have stations, and the times into London are similar.
Should you be fortunate enough to be able to afford a home in this Thames-side village close to Hampton Court, you will have to pay handsomely for the privilege. On the day this article was updated (August 2021), there were no three-bedroom houses priced under £550,000 listed on Rightmove in Thames Ditton. The properties in this very desirable town are eye-wateringly expensive. Commuters from this pretty location may travel into London Waterloo on the Hampton Court branchline. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes.
On the day this article was updated in August 2021, the cheapest three-bedroom property listed on Rightmove in Virginia Water was £450,000. According to the Wikipedia entry for this prosperous, large village, the average house price is more than a million pounds. Obviously not the right area for the average first-time buyer! On a direct rail route into the City of London, commuters can reach London Waterloo in a little under an hour.
Weybridge is not the cheapest place to live. In fact, you will be very unlikely to find any more than the occasional basic three-bedroom house in this picturesque town for less than £500,000. Weybridge was mentioned in Domesday Book and has more than its fair share of idyllically beautiful older-style properties. Popular with commuters, the town has a typical rail commute of around 40 minutes into London Waterloo.
Three-bedroom homes in Woking can be bought from a little under £360,000.
The town of Woking has its roots in an ancient settlement. A sleepy staging post sited on an ages-old route into London, it failed to reach any appreciable size until Victorian times when the railway arrived. The town has certainly made up for it since however. These days Woking is a large urban sprawl with modern housing estates and an extensive shopping centre at its heart.
Woking is on one of the main train routes into London Waterloo, with a typical rail commute of fewer than 40 minutes, and is also quite close to the M25. It has good shopping and leisure facilities, and schools through to 6th form level.
Also Interested in Other Counties?
Surrey is a very expensive county, but it is adjacent to counties with a broader range of property prices. If you are interested in other counties, you might like to look at other articles in this series. These cover Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Cornwall, Devon, Hampshire, Sussex, Kent, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and Essex.
These articles are updated every few months.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: What is the average house price in Thames Ditton?
Answer: Average house prices are incredibly misleading. You could have fifteen cheap houses and one enormous great mansion, and the average price of those sixteen houses would consequently be completely skewed and unrepresentative. If your interest is only in the Thames Ditton area research online using sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla. These websites allow you to be very specific with your search terms.