Cathedral city and gateway to Dales are hotspots
Statistics have thrown the spotlight on two areas of Yorkshire which are seeing strong price rises. Sharon Dale reports.
PROPERTY indices vary enormously but one thing the number-crunchers agree on is that house prices are rising.
Their latest research has pinpointed two hotspots in Yorkshire that are outperforming the rest of the region. According to data from property portal Zoopla, prices in Ripon have soared by 11.8 per cent over the past year
Meanwhile, researchers at Savills reveal that the Craven area has seen one of the highest numbers of homes sold in the UK since the market peak of 2007.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, says: “This national research shows that house prices and transaction levels in Ripon and Craven have risen recently and this coincides with our own figures for our Ripon, Skipton and Settle offices which are all experiencing a good increase in activity.
“It’s important to remember though that price movements are patchy across the rest of the region with the pace of the increases slowing somewhat into August.”
Chris O’Mahony, who manages the Ripon branch of Dacre Son & Hartley, says a demand and supply issue has helped push values up.
“Ripon is one of a handful of places outside London where prices have increased significantly, mainly due to consistent demand and a shortage of stock. It is an unquestionably desirable place to live thanks to its proximity to the A1 motorway and its rural location. It is a perfect mix.
“Families are keen to live in Ripon and the surrounding villages because of the excellent primary and secondary schools.”
Ripon Grammar is undoubtedly a big draw for those with children. One of the few traditional state grammar schools in the county, it boasts a GCSE pass rate of 98 per cent.
Buyers are also lured by the cathedral city’s host of historic buildings, its racecourse and the increasingly attractive retail offering. Ripon has a great branch of Booths and a good mix of high street and independent shops.
The city also has a variety of house types and although prices have risen, they are still lower than nearby Harrogate.
Starter properties include a two bedroom flat on Skelldale Close for £90,000 and a one bedroom cottage on St Marygate, also £90,000 and in need of updating. Both are available through Bridgfords. Two bedroom terraced houses start at around £120,000. Family-sized properties include three bedroom town houses from £170,000, semis from £190,000 and detached homes from £200,000. At the top end, Knight Frank has a five-bedroom Georgian home on Park Street for sale at £945,000.
Over in Craven’s “capital”, Tim Usherwood, manager of Dacre’s Skipton office, says: “The whole of the Aire Valley has enjoyed a buoyant year and this is particularly true in Skipton where the number of homes bought and sold over summer has been extremely encouraging.
“We have operated here for more than 50 years and the town is incredibly vibrant and has vast appeal. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Dales’, the market town’s character, range of services and idyllic location combine to drive demand for property.”
Schools here are among the main attractions. There are two selective grammar schools, the all-boys Ermysted’s, which has a GCSE pass rate of 98 per cent, and Skipton Girls High School, which has a pass rate of 100 per cent.
The town, which attracts legions of tourists and day trippers, also has good transport links with trains to Bradford and Leeds making it popular with commuters.
Those on a low budget will find two-bedroom terraced houses from £90,000, though at this price they usually require renovation. Harrison Boothman has a tworeception, two-bedroom house on Westmoreland Street for £90,000. Family-sized semis with gardens start from £170,000 and detached homes from £300,000.
Among the most expensive homes on the market at the moment are a detached, fourbedroom house on Raikes Road for £640,000 and a detached property on Raikeswood Drive for £599,950.
Settle, a haven for retirees and second homes, has also become popular with commuters thanks to its rail links to Leeds, though the journey takes over an hour and there are few trains, so it appeals mostly to those who can split their time between office and home.
The town has a branch of Booths, good independent shops and cafés and a swimming pool.
Prices start at sound £100,000 for a one-bedroom flat and from £130,000 for a small twobedroom terraced house. Semis start from around £170,000, while detached property is available from around £300,000. At the top end, four-bedroom Rock House on Castle Hill is a period gem and is £499,950 with Neil Wright, while four-bedroom, new home Brockhole View is £450,000 with Dacres. Those buying can do so with confidence, according to Patrick McCutcheon, who says: “With modest economic growth predicted, house prices are more likely to rise gradually over the remainder of the year.”
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