Golden opportunity as commute to the Dales moves into fast lane
A new golden triangle looks set to emerge in Yorkshire thanks to an upgrading of the A1. Sharon Dale reports.
LURING buyers away from Yorkshire’s golden triangle and up to the Northern Dales has been one of Tim Brown’s biggest challenges.
The main temptation he has put in the path of those fixated on Harrogate, York, North Leeds and Wetherby is value for money. You get a lot of “bang for your buck” up there.
House prices in the area are around 25 per cent cheaper than those in the well-known property hotspots.
Now Tim, of the George F. White agency in Bedale, has even tastier bait to reel in those previously reluctant to venture further afield.
The work on upgrading the Dishforth to Leeming Bar section of the A1 to give it three-lane motorway status is due to complete in spring next year. The Dishforth to Baldersby section is already open and has a new 70mph limit.
The speedier 24-mile stretch should slash 15 minutes off journey times south to York and Leeds, making the area far more attractive to city workers and to the townies in between.
“Journey times to work that are over an hour are a big psychological hurdle for buyers but when the new motorway opens completely that hour commute should be achievable from further north and I think that will have a big impact on property prices,” says Tim.
The inducement is so attractive that he believes it will eventually create another golden triangle with points at Northallerton, Masham and Leyburn, while taking in Bedale and numerous villages.
Leeming Bar, where the new motorway south will start, is the junction for Northallerton and Bedale and also gives access to lower Wensleydale.
While there has been a trickle of people migrating to the area over the past few years, when the full upgrade is finished that could become a stream.
George F. White say that many people who have moved into the area recently are those who work at home full-time or who don’t have to go into the office every day.
“It’s a very attractive part of Yorkshire with great access to the countryside and people love the fact that house prices are so low. I’ve just sold a manor house in Exelby for just short of £700,000 to someone from Leeds. If it had been in North Leeds or Harrogate area it would’ve been well over a million,” says Tim.
“Prices here are an average 25 per cent cheaper than those in the golden triangle and in some cases they are half the price.
“When we advertise in the Yorkshire Post and buyers from the West Riding come out here, they cannot believe what they can get for their money.”
Areas that have have grown in popularity over the past few years include those that run parallel to the A1 south of Bedale, such as Carthorpe, Exelby and Sutton Howgrave.
They are less expensive than villages further south off the A1 and they have also outperformed the market over the past ten years, according to Tim.
“I bought a cottage near Bedale in 2002 for £100,000 and three years later when I sold it, it had doubled in value. When I sold for the next owner in 2007 it had increased in value by another 50 per cent and although prices have slipped in the last few years I think the area has outperformed almost all of the rest of the country except London and the Home Counties.”
Tim predicts that villages between Bedale and Leyburn will soon be on the radar for city workers who dream of escaping to the country.
These include Newton-leWillows, Finghall, Patrick Brompton and Spennithorne.
On the Northallerton side of the A1, he predicts Scruton, Great Fencote and Kirkby Fleetham will attract more buyers.
“I have sold three properties in Kirkby Fleetham recently and they all went very quickly. One sold in the space of a weekend. It’s five minutes to the A1, it has a village green and you have easy access to a mainline station at nearby Northallerton,” says Tim.
While the upgrade work continues to blight the A1, the benefit will soon be felt, which means would-be buyers should act quickly.
“Here at George F. White, we already have a growing list of people looking for properties in the north of the county, so to benefit, don’t hang about. Look to purchase now before further potential growth in demand sets in,” says Tim.
“As sure as eggs are eggs, house prices will rise when the benefits of the quicker access times are realised.”
FLOCKING IN: Masham could be one of the points of a new golden triangle that also takes in Lower Wensleydale.