New goal at heart of the golden tri­an­gle

It’s no longer a soc­cer star hot spot, but the mar­ket town of Wetherby is still in the prop­erty premier league. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

PRE­MIER­SHIP foot­ballers are of­ten sneered at for hav­ing more money than sense, but the play­ers who colonised Wetherby in the nineties and early noughties were cer­tainly well ad­vised.

They scored that prop­erty hat trick: lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion when they bought in the heart of York­shire’s golden tri­an­gle.

The mega-rich foot­ballers dis­ap­peared as Leeds United’s for­tunes dipped, but Wetherby and its satel­lite vil­lages re­main pop­u­lar, though prices at the top end aren’t quite as strato­spheric.

“Some of the old school were a bit sniffy about these young multi-mil­lion­aires in­vad­ing the area, but I used to tell them: ‘go down on bended knees and thank God for Leeds United. They’ve in­creased the value of your prop­erty by 20 per cent’,” says Andrew Bead­nall, of Bead­nall Co­p­ley, who sold homes to and for a host of soc­cer stars.

“It was an in­cred­i­ble time. You’d call up the club and say: ‘We’ve got a great new house on the mar­ket’ and then the lat­est sign­ing would buy it for more than the ask­ing price.

“That sit­u­a­tion has changed. Now so many of the play­ers are on loan and so many of them rent in­stead of buy. The ex­cite­ment of see­ing all those flash cars and top foot­ballers has gone, but they helped in­crease the as­pi­ra­tion. Peo­ple as­pire to live in Lin­ton and other de­sir­able vil­lages around Wetherby. That’s where the glam­our is.”

The pop­u­lar­ity of the area lies in its prox­im­ity to the main com­mer­cial cen­tres of York and Leeds and to beau­ti­ful coun­try­side. An­other big at­trac­tion is the A1, which is on Wetherby’s doorstep.

“The A1/M1 link road has also made a big dif­fer­ence. I’m a Leeds United sup­porter and it used to take me an hour and a half to get over to El­land Road. Now thanks to the link road it takes me un­der half an hour to get to a match,” says Andrew.

“Wetherby was pop­u­lar be­fore that link, but now it’s ridicu­lously pop­u­lar. It’s opened out the mar­ket. I’ve just sold a prop­erty to a woman who works in South Leeds. She has a lovely three­bed­room de­tached house here and can be in her of­fice in 20 min­utes. You can also be in Manch­ester within an hour.”

It’s not just the trans­port links. The mar­ket town has aes­thetic ap­peal, with the River Wharfe me­an­der­ing through the mid­dle and pe­riod build­ings re­flect­ing its long his­tory. De­vel­op­ers spot­ted its po­ten­tial long ago, which is why most of the homes in the town are not old and are on hous­ing es­tates, where you can buy town houses from £150,000, three-bed­room semis for about £200,000 and a four-bed­room de­tached for £250,000.

Get­ting on the prop­erty lad­der here is a strug­gle for first-time buy­ers.

At the mo­ment the cheap­est home in town is a two-bed­room flat on Bar­ley­fields Road for £84,995. It is in need of mod­erni­sa­tion and is for sale through Your Move Barrett Hynes. Those who want a house will find a “priced to sell” twobed­room end-ter­race on Ceres Road for £124,950 with Hun­ters.

Those house hunt­ing in the area will find good ameni­ties. Fam­i­lies are at­tracted by Wetherby High School, where 64 per cent of pupils achieved 5 or more GCSE’s at A* to C in­clud­ing English and Maths.

There is a range of lo­cal and high street shops, a Mor­risons su­per­mar­ket, restau­rants, leisure cen­tre, golf course and the well-known race­course. Sains­bury’s is also plan­ning to build a store, though there is lo­cal op­po­si­tion.

These kind of fa­cil­i­ties have made it pop­u­lar with down­siz­ers. They move out of large homes in the vil­lages to apart­ments in the town and the best river­side flats com­mand a large pre­mium, with a three-bed cost­ing £475,000.

Like ev­ery­where, prices have fallen since the height of the mar­ket in 2007 but there are few bricks and mor­tar bar­gains.

“I haven’t sold any­thing I would say was a steal and we still achieve big ticket prices. In the last cou­ple of months we have sold a prop­erty for £1.725m and an­other for £1.435m.

“In Bos­ton Spa, we had a four bed­room house in for £435,000 and sold it for £430,000. In Colling­ham house a house priced at £350,00 went for 348,000,” says Andrew.

“No-one has to give their house away here.”

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