Do you agree with Nick about the best place to live in Sheffield?
Will property in Sheffield Hallam benefit from the ‘Clegg effect’? Sharon Dale reports.
WHILE there is a certain kudos in having the Deputy Prime Minister as a neighbour, estate agent Nick Riddle thinks it’s probably more trouble than its worth.
“He’s Deputy Prime Minister now so there will be security issues and heavies to contend with and if a big story breaks, then you’ll get paparazzi. People in the area might not want that kind of attention,” says Nick of Eadon Lockwood and Riddle.
“I don’t think house prices will be pushed up as a result of him having a second home there.
“It didn’t happen in Sedgefield when Tony Blair became Prime Minister.”
Not that anyone in the Hallam ward is worried about the lack of Clegg effect.
This is the poshest part of Sheffield and prices reflect its desirability.
The Lib Dem leader calls his home in Bents Green a modest semi, but it is thought to be worth about £350,000, well above the price of the average Sheffield semi costing £150,000.
Andrew Winter, of Blundells estate agency, says: “Hallam has always been desirable. its proximity to the city and very easy access to the Peak District are the main reasons why.”
Nick Clegg agrees and has said how much he loves “the way the houses stop and the Peak Park begins – in most towns you travel through a wasteland before you hit the countryside.
“There are parts of Sheffield where it feels the countryside comes into the city, like fingers stretching into the city.”
Families are attracted by good state schools, and most of Sheffield’s private schools are located here.
It is also one of the greenest areas with an abundance of parks and wooded areas.
Although it outpaces average values in Sheffield, like many other locations, prices have generally stagnated over the past year.
“The market is patchy at the moment and I’d say the only part of it that is reasonably busy is the larger family semi in the £350,000 to the £500,000 bracket,” says Andrew Winter.
“Beyond that it’s quite difficult as not many people are buying.
“What I have also seen is a lot of trading down out of the big houses but not a lot of people are trading up.”
Property in Hallam ward starts at about £100,000 for a two-bed terrace.
The average buyer spends £500,000 and Sheffield’s most expensive house sold there last year for £3.5m.
Aspirational areas include Dore, Ranmoor, Whirlow, Ful- wood and anywhere in the Mayfield Valley.
Nick Riddle, who sold the £3.5m house, says there was no shortage of interest even though
There are parts of Sheffield where it feels the countryside comes in to the city like fingers.
the property sold off market and was never even advertised.
He says: “There is a lot of money in South West Sheffield. It’s a very wealthy area and people will pay for the right house in the right area.
“The £3.5m property was a cash sale.”
He adds: “It’s annoying that people from outside Sheffield still seem to equate us with The Full Monty and cloth caps and it’s not like that at all in Hallam. Barclays Wealth league ranked Hallam above Wilmslow, Ascot and Bray.
“We have a lot of entrepreneurs buying at the top end along with lawyers and consultants from the hospital here.”
According to the experts Nick Clegg has made a good investment thanks to a combination of luck – in getting Hallam as his constituency – and good management by buying a house that was in need of modernisation.
He may have been criticised during the expenses scandal for spending money on a new kitchen, a garden revamp and “items from Ikea” for the second home, but we are all set to benefit.
He has intimated that he may sell his Hallam house soon and the profit could be at least £40,000.
Mr Clegg, whose main home is in Putney and who has just been given a grace and favour houseshare with William Hague at Chevening, says he will donate any gain back to us.
He is quoted as saying: “My approach to this is that it’s not my home, it’s a home on loan to me from the taxpayer and when it’s sold every single penny of value gained is returned to the taxpayer.”
It may be a drop in the ocean, but any help in clearing the budget deficit will surely be welcomed by George Osborne.
GREEN SPACE: Nick Clegg and wife, Miriam, at Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, in Sheffield Hallam. Mr Clegg says he loves the way the city gives way to the Peak Park.