Dreams of home by the sea keep Whitby’s prop­erty mar­ket afloat

A pub­lic­ity storm over a land slip shouldn’t af­fect Whitby’s abil­ity to weather the prop­erty re­ces­sion. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - This nine bed­room guest house with pri­vate park­ing is on the out­skirts of Whitby and of­fers a live work op­por­tu­nity. Ac­com­mo­da­tion over five floors and the prop­erty has lots of pe­riod features. Con­tact: This two bed­room house, be­tween Ruswarp and Brig­gswa

DRA­MATIC scenes of a land slip in Whitby that took gar­dens and ve­ran­das with it have dom­i­nated the news agenda.

Mean­while, res­i­dents on Aelfleda Ter­race, which sits above Church Street on the town’s east side, are still coming to terms with Scar­bor­ough Bor­ough Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to de­mol­ish five of their houses “as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure”.

The ef­fects of this edict and the pub­lic­ity storm sur­round­ing it are be­ing widely felt and there are con­cerns that the value and saleabil­ity of other cliff side prop­er­ties may be blighted by er­ro­neous fears.

Tim Richard­son, of Astin’s Es­tate Agents, says: “Over the last week, since the front yards and built-out ve­ran­das be­yond the front ac­cess path fell away af­ter very heavy rain­fall, the houses them­selves re­main stand­ing, as they have for the last 150 years or so, with no ob­vi­ous struc­tural dam­age.

“Some of the de­bris from the yards has caused dam­age to the rear wall of a house be­low but, gen­er­ally speak­ing, this ap­pears to be an iso­lated oc­cur­rence. As far as we are aware there has been no sug­ges­tion that the sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity of any other prop­er­ties on the east side, many of which have stood solidly for over 400 years, have been ad­versely af­fected by what ap­pears to be a lo­calised prob­lem, so we re­main hope­ful that the value and saleabil­ity of other dwellings in this highly re­garded area will be main­tained.

“No doubt we will learn more once the de­mo­li­tion is com­plete and the ac­tual prob­lem iden­ti­fied and re­solved. We can only sym­pa­thise, of course, with the in­di­vid­ual house own­ers who will be dev­as­tated by the loss of their homes.”

Although wor­ry­ing, the slip­page of boul­der clay is not un­com­mon and homes built on bedrock and firm foun­da­tions have al­ways re­mained in tact, which is good news for those who dream of buy­ing into York­shire’s trendi­est coastal town.

In­ter­est in prop­erty here is still de­fi­antly high de­spite the re­ces­sion and prices have re­mained sta­ble. That’s be­cause many buy­ers are cash rich and are not re­liant on mort­gage fund­ing.

“We have in­vestors buy­ing hol­i­day prop­erty to let, sec­ond home buy­ers, those buy­ing with a view to re­tire­ment and we are see­ing more peo­ple who are able to work from home mov­ing here for the qual­ity of life. We even have peo­ple who work in Lon­don five days a week and come home to Whitby at week­ends,” says Tim.

“We don’t have the big ups and downs that many other ar­eas have. When the rest of the mar­ket falls, we just plateau.”

Many buy­ers come from West and South York­shire though a grow­ing con­tin­gent are from fur­ther afield.

Whitby Hol­i­day Cot­tages has seen an in­crease in clients from Lon­don, Manch­ester and the Mid­lands and some of that traf­fic has trans­lated into prop­erty sales. When po­tash mines open on Fyling­dales Moor, be­tween Whitby and Scar­bor­ough, in about five years time, cre­at­ing around over 1,000 jobs, de­mand for homes will be boosted fur­ther.

House hunters will find that prices are among then high­est on the York­shire coast, re­flect­ing the town’s de­sir­abil­ity. One bed­room flats start from £70,000. A two bed­room ter­race starts from £120,000 and cot­tages from £135,000. Fam­ily-sized homes are from £150,000. The most ex­pen­sive home on sale at the moment is a six bed­room Ge­or­gian end ter­race at £650,000.

Prop­erty styles are di­verse and re­flect a rich ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage, in­flu­enced by ev­ery­one from the Quaker bankers to the Scots who came to work in the her­ring fish­eries. The lat­est ad­di­tion will be from David Wil­son Homes, which has per­mis­sion to build 170 houses on the east side, though there is lit­tle chance of the town be­ing spoilt by fur­ther devel­op­ment. There is lit­tle build­ing land left and sprawl is un­likely as Whitby is sand­wiched be­tween the North York Moors Na­tional Park and the sea. This stun­ning lo­ca­tion, along with the town’s char­ac­ter and charm, is what at­tract thou­sands of vis­i­tors and wouldbe homeowners.

Tim says: “What really put Whitby on the map was The En­deav­our coming here in 2002 and so what was a 20 week a year hol­i­day sea­son is now 52 weeks a year.”

Vis­i­tor are well-served by shops, cafes and, more re­cently, by a wine bar and firstr class restau­rants, such as Green’s

“Some of the new busi­nesses are run by peo­ple who have moved here. We have former bankers who have bought farms and tea­rooms,” says Tim. “They come here for the good life.”

Bridg­fords, tel: 01947 859179, www.bridg­fords.co.uk

Astin’s, tel: 01947 821122, www.astin.co.uk

SEA­SIDE SPE­CIAL: Whitby’s dra­matic scenery, stun­ning lo­ca­tion and char­ac­ter­ful steep streets have mass ap­peal

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