Boost for property market in future City of Culture
The spotlight is on Hull after it was named the UK City of Culture 2017 and it looks like good news for its property market. Sharon Dale reports.
ESTATE agent Dawn Towse is thrilled to bits by Hull’s successful City of Culture bid but she is less than impressed with the Northern stereotyping by national media.
“I know it was meant to be funny, but it is not ‘ull, it’s Hull,” she says of the dropped aitches in headlines
After all, Yorkshire’s coastal city deserves some respect. While it lingers at the bottom of house price surveys and has some of the cheapest property in Britain, it also has some very upmarket areas and its retention rates are excellent.
“Hull has a reputation of being at the low end of the property market with a lot of poverty but there are some amazing places to live.
“When people move to Hull they often stay here forever, which says a lot. They find that it has a got a huge amount to offer and the people are incredibly friendly,” says Dawn, area manager for Quick and Clarke.
She lists attractions such as the Ferens Art Gallery, the Deep aquarium, The Hull Truck Theatre Company and, of course, the Premiership football club.
The city has also given us the magnificent Humber Bridge, and was home to the poet Philip Larkin and the Housemartins.
Around £1bn has already been spent on regeneration here and when it dons the UK City of Culture crown in 2017, the council expects a £60m boost to the economy. Its heir apparent status is already having a positive impact on the housing market.
Investors, who bought up flats and terraced houses in the property boom, are trickling back and more are swivelling their antennae in its direction.
“The City of Culture news has helped. It has brought a feel good factor and people know they are investing in an area that has recognition and has well-priced properties that give great yields,” says Dawn.
Richard Beal, of housebuilder Beal Homes, which is based in the city, adds: “New homes sales have already picked up well, particularly at Kingswood Parks, one of the most popular areas of Hull, where sales are very buoyant.
“Certainly, we expect City of Culture to add to the attraction of living here. The build-up to 2017 will show people outside the city just how vibrant Hull is and what a good quality of life is on offer.
“With some of the country’s best value for money homes, it is both an attractive and very affordable place to live. “
Prices are surprisingly low. Dee, Atkinson, Harrison has a twobedroom flat on Anlaby Road with a guide price of £10,000 to £20,000 in its next auction, and there are terraced properties from £30,000. In better areas, a two bedroom terraced house costs around £80,000.
Some of the cheapest homes are on the Bransholme estate, which is often prefixed by “notorious”, though Dawn says: “People in that area tend to want to stay there and some of the properties are like palaces inside. In Hull the market is polarised between East and West and people tend to stay in one or the other.”
One of the most desirable spots is The Avenues, where there are solid survivors of the bombing that ravaged Hull in the Second World War. The large Victorian properties there are around £300,000. The most sought-after areas around the city are West Ella and Kirk Ella, while Willerby and Cottingham are popular thanks to good state schools. Even the most expensive properties there are considerably cheaper than those in Yorkshire hotspots.
“We already have people who travel to work in York and Leeds,” says Dawn. “When the market was buoyant pre-2008 we saw a stream of people selling a two bedroom house in places like York to buy a detached house here and I can see that happening again. You get a lot for your money here.”
Ian Hessay, managing director of Linden Homes, which has its regional head office in Hessle, adds: “Those of us who live and work in Hull already know this is a fantastic city.”
RISING TIDE: Hull has a lot to offer home buyers and investors, with low property prices and plenty of culture.