It’s not just the Golden Tri­an­gle that glit­ters for buy­ers

Hills, mills and many hid­den charms. Hud­der­s­field and its sur­round­ings are at­tract­ing buy­ers from out­side York­shire. Sharon Dale re­ports

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

WHEN es­tate agent James Eng­land be­gan cov­er­ing Hud­der­s­field and the sur­round­ing area, he ad­mits to be­ing sur­prised at what he dis­cov­ered in the town and its hin­ter­land.

“It’s a place that’s mis­un­der­stood and un­der­rated. When I started in this patch ten years ago I re­alised very quickly that not all that glit­ters is in the Golden Tri­an­gle,” says James, re­fer­ring to the prop­erty hotspot that lies in the area be­tween North Leeds, York and Har­ro­gate.

“I was amazed by the beau­ti­ful coun­try­side, the choco­late box vil­lages and the pretty val­leys. It’s so varied too. The Holme Val­ley has a softer land­scape, while over at Slaith­waite and Mars­den it’s much bolder.

“The views still blow me away, so much so that I some­times stop the car just to take them in.”

He re­cently opened his own epony­mous agency, Eng­land Res­i­den­tial, to fo­cus on the top end of the prop­erty mar­ket, which has an abun­dance of grand houses thanks to the area’s in­dus­trial her­itage that made mill own­ers richer than Mi­das.

In the 1960s, there were said to be more Rolls Royces per capita in Hud­der­s­field than any­where else in the coun­try.

The wealthy also put their money into bricks and mor­tar, which has pro­vided an ex­cep­tional ar­chi­tec­tural legacy, from im­pos­ing Vic­to­rian man­sions to ground-break­ing prop­er­ties like Farn­ley Hey at Farn­ley Tyas. De­signed in 1954 by the ar­chi­tect Peter Womer­s­ley, it is one of Bri­tain’s most cel­e­brated mid-cen­tury mod­ern houses and is on the mar­ket with Bram­leys and The Mod­ern House for £575,000.

The most ex­pen­sive home on the mar­ket at the mo­ment is an ex­quis­ite mod­ern man­sion at Kirk­bur­ton, so ex­clu­sive that the price is only avail­able to those who can af­ford to pay it. But it tops the list­ings on Rightmove and is pitched above the sec­ond prici­est prop­erty, another new­build at Up­per Hop­ton for £2.9m.

First time buy­ers are also well­catered for with two bed­room ter­raced houses from £50,000 and semis from £120,000.

“I find that peo­ple will move into this area for a spe­cific home. It’s of­ten those from out­side York­shire who are look­ing for some­thing ex­cep­tional and who have a re­gional out­look. They aren’t hin­dered by any pre­con­cep­tions,” says James.

For cap­tains of in­dus­try and well-heeled pro­fes­sion­als, con­nec­tiv­ity is a big draw and it is one of the area’s big­gest as­sets, ac­cord­ing to Si­mon Blyth.

Si­mon, a well-known lo­cal per­son­al­ity who has six es­tate agency branches and a HQ in Holm­firth, says: “The area is in be­tween the M1 and M62 so you can be in Leeds, Sh­effield or Manch­ester within 25 min­utes and we don’t have the kind of ma­jor bot­tle­necks that you get on the out­skirts of Har­ro­gate and Leeds. We also have a good train ser­vice.”

He adds that good restau­rants are also plen­ti­ful and they in­clude Eric’s in Lind­ley, which was dubbed a “Hid­den Gem” by De­li­cious mag­a­zine.

They feed a clien­tele whose wealth isn’t al­ways con­spic­u­ous. There’s a lot of old money in the Hud­der­s­field area and you can’t al­ways tell who has it.

“It’s a sub­tle wealth that’s very well-es­tab­lished. On our let­tings side, it’s not un­usual to have lo­cal land­lords with 60 or 70 prop­er­ties and they haven’t just had them for five years, they’ve been in the fam­ily for 105 years,” says Si­mon, who adds that the area has a less tran­sient pop­u­la­tion than Leeds and Har­ro­gate.

The most sought-af­ter parts in the town are Lind­ley and Edger­ton and de­sir­able ar­eas out­side it in­clude Farn­ley Tyas, Holm­firth, Hon­ley, Kirk­bur­ton, Slaith­waite and Fixby. Prices are warm­ing up and have in­creased by an av­er­age of three to four per cent over the past year.

Si­mon adds: “Another great ben­e­fit of buy­ing here is that a lot of the houses were built us­ing stone from lo­cal quar­ries. They are very well-built and be­cause there’s a lot of space and a lot of hills here, you of­ten get fan­tas­tic views.”

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