A town on the up, with lo­ca­tion and value on its side

Selby scored well in a ru­ral qual­ity of life sur­vey. No won­der it’s an up and com­ing des­ti­na­tion for house hunters. Sharon Dale re­ports

Yorkshire Post - Property - - FRONT PAGE - This de­tached house in the vil­lage of Barlby has three bed­rooms, two bath­rooms and a de­tached garage. Con­tact:

AF­TER years of be­ing shunned and play­ing sec­ond best to York and Leeds, it’s lit­tle won­der that Selby’s self-es­teem is lower than it ought to be.

The town and its sur­round­ing vil­lages is the top York­shire area in the Hal­i­fax Ru­ral Qual­ity of Life sur­vey. It is num­ber 27 in the best 50 lo­cal au­thor­ity dis­tricts in Bri­tain with East York­shire at 37 and Ham­ble­ton at 48. East Cam­bridgeshire is num­ber one.

The sur­vey, com­piled by The Hal­i­fax, awards points for em­ploy­ment, the weather, health, ed­u­ca­tion, bur­glary rates and hous­ing.

Yet long-time res­i­dents can’t quite be­lieve the ac­co­lade. Es­tate agent Sarah Jane Tay­lor, of Pre­ston Baker, grew up in the area and says: “I am sur­prised be­cause Selby rarely gets any recog­ni­tion but then again I’m not sur­prised.

“Selby used to be well-known for its coal mines and they cre­ated a lot of em­ploy­ment. When they closed the bot­tom fell out of the mar­ket here but things have changed sig­nif­i­cantly since then.

“We’ve cer­tainly ben­e­fited from the rip­ple ef­fect from Leeds and York, where house prices are a lot higher. We are just out­side the golden tri­an­gle. In fact we are be­com­ing a dor­mi­tory town. Peo­ple live here and work else­where.”

Richard Tay­lor, of Keith Tay­lor es­tate agency, says house prices are at least 20 per cent cheaper in the Selby area com­pared to those in Leeds and York.

“You can get a ter­raced house from about £85,000, which is why we at­tract a lot of first time buy­ers from other ar­eas,” he says.

“Prices are cer­tainly rea­son­able and it is now on the radar for buy­ers out­side the area. They re­alise that their money goes a lot fur­ther here.”

A three-be­d­room semi costs from about £140,000, a de­tached from £160,000 and a de­tached coun­try house with a cou­ple of acres can be had for £500,000.

The cheap­est prop­erty in town at the mo­ment is a one be­d­room apart­ment on Bain­bridge Drive, Selby, for £54,950. The most ex­pen­sive is a five be­d­room de­tached on Leeds Road for £595,000. Both are for sale with Keith Tay­lor. A stun­ning 18th cen­tury farm­house in the sought-af­ter vil­lage of Ca­wood is £625,000 with Blenkin and Co.

The area of­fers great value for money but equally at­trac­tive are the su­perb trans­port links. The A1/M1 and M62 are close by. York and Leeds are a half hour drive away and the town has a train sta­tion and a train from Selby to London takes just twoand-a half hours. The vil­lages are also well served by buses.

“The town cen­tre suf­fered a lot of con­ges­tion,” says Richard. “It was a bot­tle neck but now we have a new by­pass and that has made a huge dif­fer­ence .”

The most de­sir­able ar­eas are Leeds Road in Selby and vil­lages such as Ca­wood, Wis­tow and Bray­ton, and the unini­ti­ated will be sur­prised at how at­trac­tive the town is and how pretty the vil­lages around Selby are.

“Ca­wood in par­tic­u­lar is beau­ti­ful and very his­toric. It is by the river and has a cas­tle and Ca­wood Garth. Peo­ple from out­side the area are al­ways sur­prised when I tell them they can be in the cen­tre of York in 25 min­utes from there,” says Sarah Jane.

The vis­ual high­light in Selby is the beau­ti­ful, his­toric abbey. There are three su­per­mar­kets, Mor­risons, Tesco and Sains­bury’s, plus a Mon­day mar­ket and a monthly farm­ers’ mar­ket. There is a leisure cen­tre, tem­po­rar­ily closed af­ter a fire but due to re­open, and a num­ber of pri­vate gyms. There are a num­ber of pri­mary schools in the area rated ex­cel­lent by Of­sted, though most of the high schools rank av­er­age in the league ta­bles.

The usual signs of an upand-com­ing area are all there. De­vel­op­ers have tar­geted the place, in­ter­est­ing, in­de­pen­dent shops and eater­ies have opened and Wether­spoons is plan­ning to open up.

“It’s stalled be­cause of the re­ces­sion but I think that will pick up again. It is def­i­nitely an upand-com­ing area,” says Richard.

Those mov­ing in will usu­ally find a warm wel­come. “It’s a friendly mar­ket town,” says Sarah Jane. “In fact it’s a town with a vil­lage men­tal­ity.

Pre­ston Baker, tel: 01757 291466, www.pre­ston­baker.co.uk

LEADER OF THE PACK: Selby topped a re­cent qual­ity of life sur­vey for York­shire. The town with its his­toric abbey is close to both York and Leeds.

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