Top marks for town by buy­ers down the ages

Its su­perb lo­ca­tion, his­toric char­ac­ter and a high school with top marks keep buy­ers coming to Knares­bor­ough. Sharon Dale re­ports

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

ME­DIEVAL sooth­sayer Mother Ship­ton may not have had a des. res but she knew a thing or two about lo­ca­tion.

Her home, a cave, was in a town that re­mains as per­fectly placed and well-served now as it was 500 years ago when she made her pre­dic­tions.

Knares­bor­ough’s lo­ca­tion and sur­round­ings at­tract a steady stream of house hunters, ac­cord­ing to es­tate agent Nick Al­cock, of Dacre, Son and Hart­ley.

“The mar­ket for homes up to £300,000 has been quite buoy­ant and we are now start­ing to see more ac­tiv­ity at the top end of the mar­ket in the £300,000 to £500,000 price range,” says Nick, who re­veals that buy­ers in­clude a mix of lo­cals and peo­ple from nearby Har­ro­gate, who move to get more for their money.

Mi­grants from fur­ther afield also make a bee­line for the town.

“We’ve had quite a lot of peo­ple re­lo­cat­ing from the South and we’ve re­cently had in­ter­est from buy­ers in Buck­ing­hamshire, Cam­bridgeshire and Lon­don. They tend to like the Knares­bor­ough vil­lages like Ark­endale and Hop­per­ton.

“Peo­ple mov­ing here from Har­ro­gate is quite com­mon be­cause you can sell a three­bed­room semi there and get a four-bed­room de­tached here for the same money and we also get peo­ple from York for the same rea­son,” says Nick.

Trans­port links are a big draw. Knares­bor­ough is close to the A1 and the A59 and has a rail­way sta­tion on the Har­ro­gate line to Leeds and York.

An­other mag­net is the state high school, King James, which achieved a 64 per cent pass rate of five or more GCSEs in­clud­ing English and maths last year.

“The school is a big pull for fam­i­lies not least be­cause if you live in Knares­bor­ough you’re in the catch­ment area. In Har­ro­gate, the catch­ment ar­eas for the high schools are more nar­row,” says Nick.

Char­ac­ter is also part of the ap­peal. The town cen­tre is at­trac­tive with num­ber of in­de­pen­dent shops and restau­rants and there are pleas­ant walks along the River Nidd and the Nidd gorge.

Prop­er­ties are di­verse and range from his­toric cot­tages, Tu­dor­houses and Ge­or­gian ter­races to quirky abodes like The House in the Rock. There are also sev­eral newer es­tates, in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Ap­pleby that features Bryant and David Wil­son homes.

Piers Young bought his grade two listed, de­tached cot­tage four years ago. A thatcher by trade, he was able to ren­o­vate its thatched roof. He also mod­ernised the prop­erty’s in­te­rior.

“The house really caught my eye and I’ve loved liv­ing in Knares­bor­ough. The peo­ple here are really friendly and there’s a very ac­tive com­mu­nity with lots go­ing on from the an­nual Bed Race to the FEVA arts fes­ti­val. There’s a lot of pride in the town.

“My work is very tran­sient so the easy ac­cess to the A1 and the train sta­tion really helps and I love the fact that I can go for eight dif­fer­ent walks from my doorstep,” says Piers, who is sell­ing to ren­o­vate an­other thatched prop­erty else­where in the county.

“I’m sell­ing with a sad heart be­cause I will miss the town when I go,” he says.

Manor Cot­tage, which has three bed­rooms and three bath­rooms, costs £550,000 and, thanks to its thatch, it is very en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

It sits to­wards the top end of the mar­ket, though the pin­na­cle at the moment is a house for £1.1m on Lands Lane.

Fam­ily sized semis start from £220,000 or, if they’re in need of up­dat­ing, from £180,000

Starter homes are hard to come by and be­gin at £100,000 for a one-bed­room flat and £130,000 for a two-bed ter­raced house.

“When peo­ple set­tle here they of­ten stay. It is a really friendly town and very un­like Har­ro­gate, which can feel a lit­tle aloof,” says Nick Al­cock.

“We’ve also seen more in­de­pen­dent pubs and restau­rants open up here re­cently, which is a good sign that the econ­omy is im­prov­ing.”

Knares­bor­ough facts: Pop­u­la­tion: 15,000; Av­er­age house price £277,635.

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