Buyers still lured by a taste for Summer Wine
Compo, Clegg and Nora are gone but househunters still come in search of Summer Wine country. reports.
CLEGG has hung up his flat cap and the TV cameras have stopped rolling in Holmfirth, but Last of the Summer Wine continues to have a profound and positive effect on the town and its property market.
“Three old gentlemen having a lovely time in fantastic Yorkshire scenery. It’s been tremendous for us and there are certainly a lot more people living in the Holme Valley now than there was 30 years ago,” says estate agent Simon Blyth, who was brought up in the area.
Before the series started, in 1973, Holmfirth was undiscovered, and home buyers were largely locals, but when Compo, Clegg and Foggy began their comic capers against that glorious backdrop, it put the small town, near Huddersfield, on the world map. Hordes of tourists made the pilgrimage and were seduced by its charms.
Some fans have since retired there, others have bought holiday homes and still more have made it a base to commute to work in Huddersfield, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.
Those who couldn’t make it in person scoured the internet and still do, as they dream of escape to a land of strong tea, wrinkled stockings and gentle humour. Proof of this is found on Simon Blyth’s website. There are hits from 46 countries, including America, Australia, China, Vietnam, Russia, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, Peru, Kenya, Sweden and Germany.
“We get people from all over looking and buying. What they find is a wonderful pram and post office town, a bit like Haworth and Hebden Bridge. It’s high in character and it’s convenient.
“We have a very strong local market as people who live here want to stay, but we also have a very strong regional market with people from places like Sheffield and Manchester. They come to work in local industries but they also commute out to work,” says Simon.
The town is relatively convenient for the M1 and M62 and is about an hour’s drive from Manchester city centre, an hour from Leeds, and there are trains from nearby Brockholes.
Jonathan Fielding, manager of Ryder Dutton estate agency, Holmfirth, says: “The market in second homes sprung up through Last of the Summer Wine and although it has dropped off a little in the last couple of years, there are people from all over the country, including London, with holiday places here. They like the fact that Holmfirth has a vibrant centre with bars, traditional pubs and restaurants and it also has lovely countryside walks.”
While it isn’t quite the haven depicted on telly – Compo and Clegg certainly never had a problem parking – Holmfirth does have more than its fair share of assets.
Located in the heart of the beautiful Holme Valley, it
Three old gentlemen having a lovely time in fantastic Yorkshire scenery. It’s been tremendous for us.
has some great independent shops and a thriving, friendly community.
“I know I might sounds biased because I live in the area, but what everyone who moves in to Holmfirth finds is that they get a big welcome; the local people are very friendly.”
There’s a swimming pool, a good high school, a cinema and lots of community groups. The only supermarket is a large Coop, and there is a weekly market and regular farmers’ markets,
House prices have increased with the area’s popularity and though first-time buyers don’t find it easy to get on the property ladder, Ryder Dutton has a two-bedroom apartment on the market for £75,000 and a terraced house for £95,000. In general, a two-bed terraced home is around £125,000, a semi £250,000 and a detached £300,000. The larger properties and farmhouses go for up to £2m.
Values have fallen since 2007, but some homes outperform the market. A property priced at £675,000 sold in just three days recently and a farmhouse went to best and final offers.
“The market is quietening off for Christmas but we’ve still had some reasonable sales and good activity. Yes some houses have dropped in line with the rest of the market, but some others haven’t dropped at all,” says Simon.
“It’s a very different type of market to three years ago when houses were flying off the shelves, but it’s more fun. Agents are having to roll up their sleeves and work really hard to achieve sales. It’s a challenge, but that’s good.”
Property types vary from the traditional terraced cottages to quirky under-and over-dwellings in Victorian terraced homes built to house multiple, mill-working families.
There are some newer estates, farmhouses and some incredible one-offs. It’s old, stone-built houses helped make it a great location for Last of the Summer Wine.
The series came to an end in August, but there is little doubt that Holmfirth will continue to thrive on the back of it. It is often shown on UK Gold and is screened in 25 countries.
“I think we’ll feel the benefit for a long time to come,” says Simon Blyth.
“I watch old episodes and not that much has changed here since 1973, except shop fronts and road signs, and, of course, there are a lot more people about.”