Why more buy­ers are head­ing to well-equipped York­shire

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Tim War­ing

LAST year, 38 per cent of buy­ers through Knight Frank Har­ro­gate came from out of York­shire, con­tin­u­ing an up­ward trend that we have no­ticed in re­cent years and in­creas­ing from 34 per cent in 2010.

As a York­shire­man I am, of course, de­lightedas this means that over 60 per cent of our buy­ers also want to stay in the re­gion rather than move else­where.

What I also find en­cour­ag­ing is that the anal­y­sis of our buy­ers re­veals thatg al­most 10 per cent have moved here from Lon­don or overseas, with over a quar­ter be­ing from else­where in the UK.

As we all know, York­shire of­fers an un­ri­valled amal­gam of at­tributes. From the ex­cep­tional beauty of the Dales and the dra­matic scenery of the East Coast, to strong com­mer­cial cen­tres and cut­ting edge IT ser­vices, it is no co­in­ci­dence that when you package to­gether all th­ese at­tributes, and in­deed many more, into the area known as “York­shire”, house buy­ers far and wide wish to live here.

I al­ways have con­sid­er­able plea­sure point­ing out to my part­ners in cen­tral Lon­don that I can of­ten be back in York­shire by train quicker than they can when trav­el­ling to the depths of Ox­ford­shire or Hamp­shire.

When one com­bines this with the on-go­ing im­prove­ments to the M1 and M62 (even if there is some short term dis­rup­tion at present), and the fi­nal sec­tion of the A1 to be taken to mo­tor­way stan­dards in North York­shire, it is un­der­stand­able that car travel is a log­i­cal alternative.

The fi­nal piece of the in­fra­struc­ture jig­saw that at­tracts buy­ers is the ever im­prov­ing flight op­tions from Leeds/ Brad­ford Air­port, where they now of­fer a choice of up to 75 des­ti­na­tions head­lined by the widely pub­li­cised re-in­state­ment of the link to Heathrow with Bri­tish Air­ways.

So hav­ing at­tracted the buy­ers, I am of­ten asked “what it the ideal house to sell?” Un­for­tu­nately, I sup­pose, this is a bit like ask­ing how long a piece of string is when you con­sider the op­tions avail­able across the county.

There are those who love the won­der­ful iso­la­tion of a ru­ral farm­house at the top end of the Dales, but the avail­abil­ity of broad­band is of­ten an es­sen­tial and un­der­stand­able pre­req­ui­site, par­tic­u­larly where we have buy­ers want­ing to do com­bined city and coun­try liv­ing. Sen­si­bly planned and well-main­tained fam­ily houses in sub­ur­ban lo­ca­tions cur­rently re­main as pop­u­lar as ever, pro­vid­ing they are prop­erly priced. The avail­abil­ity of school­ing is of­ten the driver where mum or dad want to min­imise the per­sonal taxi ser­vice, hence why the avail­abil­ity of pub­lic trans­port is a great ad­van­tage with teenagers.

There are also those start­ing on the prop­erty lad­der and the down-siz­ers, for whom the con­ve­nience of ur­ban liv­ing, be that in flats or town houses, is ei­ther a com­mer­cial ne­ces­sity due to value or a life­style choice to re­lease cap­i­tal.

The much quoted es­tate agent’s cliché “lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion” re­mains as strong to­day as ever. It is in­ter­est­ing that for some the cri­te­ria now defin­ing “lo­ca­tion”, in­cludes ac­cess to in­fra­struc­ture and good IT, as well as the lo­cal school or shops. Wit­ness cur­rent buy­ers I am deal­ing with who in­clude the own­ers of an in­ter­na­tional on-line train­ing com­pany run from a barn in Nidderdale and a Pan Euro­pean Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor who trav­els ex­ten­sively out of Leeds/Brad­ford air­port to en­sure his chil­dren can at­tend a par­tic­u­larly highly-re­garded state school in Har­ro­gate.

From an agent’s per­spec­tive it’s not just a ques­tion of know­ing the at­tributes of the prop­er­ties we sell, it is get­ting to know our buy­ers really well, find­ing out at an early stage what the drivers to their pur­chase are, and en­sur­ing we match the two to­gether.

Some would say it’s tra­di­tional es­tate agency in a mod­ern world.

Tim War­ing is a Har­ro­gate based part­ner of Knight Frank and heads their es­tate agent team in York­shire. www. knight­frank.co.uk/har­ro­gate

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