Homes in York­shire’s small­est city are in a class of their own

Buy­ers are singing the praises of the cathe­dral city of Ripon, which is be­com­ing a mag­net for fam­i­lies and down­siz­ers. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THERE are al­ways win­ners and losers in a re­ces­sion and the in­de­pen­dent school sec­tor is cer­tainly one that is strug­gling.

But their loss could be a prop­erty seller’s gain.

Par­ents now un­able to pay for a pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion for their chil­dren are hunt­ing for free, state funded al­ter­na­tives and top of their hit list are the county’s gram­mar schools.

The best chance of se­cur­ing a place for a child who is able to pass the en­trance exam is to live in the catch­ment area, which is one of the main rea­sons why fam­i­lies are flock­ing to Ripon.

Its gram­mar school is one of the best in Bri­tain with a 97.7 per cent pass rate in GCSE at A-C last year. Al­though it caters mainly for day pupils, it is also York­shire’s only state run board­ing school of­fer­ing paid for ac­com­mo­da­tion for up to 70 pupils and it has a sixth form with a 99.4 per cent (A-E) pass rate at A’level.

“The buy­ers we’re get­ting at the mo­ment are mainly fam­i­lies and there’s no doubt it’s be­cause of the gram­mar school. We also have some ex­cel­lent pri­mary schools,” says Ste­fan Collier, man­ager at Bead­nall and Co­p­ley’s Ripon branch, who adds:

“The other area where we are see­ing ac­tiv­ity is with down­siz­ers who are buy­ing bun­ga­lows.”

Bun­ga­lows are be­com­ing a rare prop­erty type and the pres­sure on de­vel­op­ers to max­imise space means they are rarely built these days, but they are plenty of them in the cathe­dral city, whose south side has a raft of such homes built in the 1960s and 70s.

Ripon also boasts many his­toric prop­er­ties ev­ery­thing from medieval with a large pro­por­tion of Ge­or­gian and Vic­to­rian and the most sought-af­ter are in the quiet ar­eas around the stun­ning cathe­dral.

This beau­ti­ful build­ing sur­rounded by quaint his­toric streets is an­other ma­jor at­trac­tion for buy­ers, who are also lured by the city’s prox­im­ity to the A1, which links to the A19 and M1. This main artery at­tracts those who work in Tee­side and Leeds.

A car is es­sen­tial for those who travel long dis­tances to work as there is no train sta­tion in Ripon.

It does, how­ever, of­fer good value for money. Houses here are be­tween 10 to 15 per cent cheaper than nearby Har­ro­gate and there are some bar­gains around at the mo­ment.

The cheap­est prop­erty on the mar­ket just now is a twobed­room apart­ment at Mill House, Duck Hill. It is £79,950 with Bead­nall Co­p­ley and is in need of mod­erni­sa­tion. Over on Princess Road, Bead­nall’s have a three-bed­room pe­riod town house in need of ren­o­va­tion for cash of­fers of just £85,000.

In gen­eral, a two-bed­room ter­raced house costs from £120,000 and three bed­room semis start from £180,000.

The most ex­pen­sive home for sale is Lu­pat Grange on pres­ti­gious Palace Road, which is with Carter Jonas for £995,000.

The de­tached farm­house has six bed­rooms and a leisure wing with train­ing pool, sauna, jacuzzi and chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties. It comes with out­build­ings and garag­ing plus gar­dens and five acres of land.

Julie Sav­age, of Sher­ring­tons es­tate agency, says that prop­er­ties in the £250,000 to £350,000 price bracket are sell­ing best.

“It’s a chal­leng­ing mar­ket for ev­ery­one at the mo­ment but since June most agents have seen an in­crease in ac­tiv­ity and if prop­er­ties are priced sen­si­bly and ven­dors are open to of­fers, they are achiev­ing about 95 per cent of the ask­ing price,” she says.

“Buy­ers in­clude peo­ple up­siz­ing within Ripon and we also have buy­ers from out­side, who like the fact it is a cathe­dral city with easy ac­cess to the A1.”

Ameni­ties in­clude three su­per­mar­kets: Booths, Mor­risons and Sains­bury’s, a leisure cen­tre with pool, golf course, the Spa Gar­dens and baths, the race course, walks along the River Ure and im­me­di­ate ac­cess to glo­ri­ous coun­try­side.

Shop­ping is pleas­ant, though it can’t com­pare in range and qual­ity to Har­ro­gate and buy­ers do com­pare the two places.

“Ripon has some good shops and it is grad­u­ally im­prov­ing in that way but there’s no doubt that Har­ro­gate has great shops. But where you choose to do your shop­ping and where you choose to live are two dif­fer­ent things,” says Julie,

“What Ripon has is a smaller com­mu­nity feel that Har­ro­gate lacks and a lot of peo­ple will choose to live here for the qual­ity of life. We cer­tainly aren’t a poor re­la­tion.”

Nei­ther does it have a north south di­vide like the ri­val spa town.

“Ripon is a hotch potch in the best pos­si­ble way,” says Julie.”There are no bad ar­eas just a mix, though homes within a few sec­onds of the gram­mar school are more sought-af­ter.”

AN­CIENT CHARMS: Pretty Ripon is a mag­net for fam­i­lies.

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