Posh shops help create property hot spots
The property market in a Leeds suburb is warming up, thanks to the Waitrose effect. Sharon Dale reports.
WHEN Waitrose opened in the Meanwood area of Leeds, residents did more than salivate at the thought of stuffed vine leaves, Puglian artichoke hearts and a fine wine section.
They basked in reflected glory because the supermarket beloved of the middle classes did its homework and clearly thought that Meanwood was “worth it”.
Considered slightly run-down and certainly less trendy than nearby Headingley, Meanwood has been boosted by the Waitrose effect and is now officially “up and coming”.
The East of Arcadia bar/ brasserie has opened there and another trendy bar, “Alfred”, arrived recently. Existing shops have smartened up and, according to one local, “the whole atmosphere is more buoyant”. So much so that those who would never have considered buying a home there are now looking afresh at the place.
Estate agents Manning Stainton report a 30 per cent rise in the number of house-hunters who are discovering the potential which Waitrose tapped. Meanwood is close to the city centre and the outer ring road. Its primary schools, Meanwood C of E and St Urban’s RC, have outstanding Ofsted reports, and it boasts Meanwood Park, a vast expanse of green parkland. Then there’s Via Verde, an Italian restaurant much loved by locals.
“Prices haven’t risen as a result of Waitrose but it means they haven’t fallen as much as other places. They’ve seen a 10 or 15 per cent drop in the last couple of years rather than 25 per cent,” says estate agent Mark Manning.
Properties range from stone cottages to Victorian terraces, 1930s’ semis and modern developments. One-bedroom flats and back-to-back terraced homes start from £100,000, larger terraced houses from £130,000 and semis range from £150,000 and £210,000.
Recent new-builds start from £140,000 for a two-bedroom town house and climb to £500,000 for a large detached house on the old Meanwood Hospital site.
Mark says: “Meanwood is certainly a hot bed of activity at the moment. We have seen new businesses opening up and new residents moving in. It’s something that has happened before in places like Chapel