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.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

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

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