Cracker of a city is hot prop­erty for buy­ers and sell­ers

It is one of the most Christ­massy places in the coun­try but York presents year-round sparkle for prop­erty buy­ers. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THE tra­di­tional ser­vice of Nine Lessons and Car­ols at the Min­ster to­mor­row is one of the high­lights of the fes­tive sea­son in York.

That re­minder of true mean­ing and a host of sea­sonal shop­ping events have proved a win­ning com­bi­na­tion for the city, which is reg­u­larly hailed the Christ­mas cap­i­tal of Bri­tain.

York’s charm, char­ac­ter and lo­ca­tion add to the at­trac­tion. It boasts the mag­nif­i­cent Min­ster, quaint streets, gor­geous Ge­or­gian houses and Vic­to­rian ter­races, all served by a good road and rail net­work, with the North York Moors and Wolds on the doorstep. It’s lit­tle won­der that York isn’t just for Christ­mas as far as house hunters are con­cerned.

The city is a prop­erty hotspot and is reg­u­larly tar­geted by wealthy buy­ers from Lon­don and the South East, though es­tate agent Tim Blenkin, of Blenkin and Co, has some ad­vice for topend house hunters.

“Dur­ing the day­time and in the early evening when the Christ­mas lights sparkle, the city of York is a pic­ture post­card of a Dick­en­sian Christ­mas with its nar­row streets, cob­bled squares, half-tim­bered Tu­dor houses, mar­kets and bustling streets full of ex­cited shop­pers and carol singers. But later on the rev­elry re­ally kicks off and con­tin­ues on into the early hours, long af­ter Santa has left his sooty foot­marks. So if you’re a buyer look­ing to spend £1m plus in York, choose a cul-de-sac.”

He has iden­ti­fied the three most de­sir­able streets in York as St Peter’s Grove, off Bootham; New Walk Ter­race, off Ful­ford Road; and St Ge­orge’s Place, op­po­site the race­course.

“These houses en­joy the best of York at Christ­mas time with­out hav­ing to face di­rectly on to busy, traf­fic-filled streets throng­ing with late-night mer­ry­mak­ers,” says Tim.

Ben Prid­den, of Sav­ills in York, adds: “York’s her­itage makes it a won­der­ful place to spend time at Christ­mas. Our shops, the St Ni­cholas Fayre and the Min­ster’s carol con­cert are sec­ond to none and have be­come a real tra­di­tion for many. The hous­ing mar­ket in the city re­flects this pop­u­lar­ity, with val­ues in the best ad­dresses re­cov­er­ing to 2007 peak lev­els. Peo­ple come to live in York for many rea­sons, par­tic­u­larly the ex­cel­lent school­ing and rail links, mak­ing it a hotspot for fam­i­lies and com­muters.

“More peo­ple are leav­ing Lon­don and the South to make York their home, with some buy­ers re­tain­ing a base in the cap­i­tal to use a cou­ple of nights a week for their job.”

Prices start from about £90,000 for a one-bed­room apart­ment and £130,000 for a two-bed­room ter­race. A large Ge­or­gian town­house in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion can com­mand around £1m and prices look set to rise.

Ed­ward Stoyle, of Carter Jonas, York, says: “The mar­ket in York shows no sign of slow­ing even though it is Christ­mas. The ac­tiv­ity is driven by a lack of sup­ply.

“It is rather like parts of Lon­don, there are very few good prop­er­ties com­ing on and those that do come onto the mar­ket have buy­ers wait­ing for them. A fair num­ber are sell­ing be­fore they ac­tu­ally reach the mar­ket, which in turn drives de­mand and prices grad­u­ally higher.

“The de­mand at the up­per end is typ­i­cally from fam­i­lies with chil­dren at one of the pri­vate schools, where at least one of the par­ents has links to Leeds or Lon­don.

“The mid to lower end is equally vi­brant, again based on a lack of stock in cen­tral York and the in­creas­ing avail­abil­ity of fi­nance.”

York has also been high­lighted as one of the best buy to-let yield cities in the coun­try and has no short­age of ten­ants.

Toby Cock­roft, of DHP Croft, agrees that the mar­ket is boom­ing: “Prices are grow­ing and the num­ber of peo­ple that want to live in the cen­tre of the city is re­mark­able. In­deed, a cou­ple from Lon­don have just com­pleted on their house in York’s only square just so they can be set­tled for Christ­mas. York is a won­der­ful place to live made even bet­ter by the twin­kle and glam­our of Christ­mas lights and mu­sic.”


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