Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday has been great PR for the property market in Haworth. Sharon Dale reports.
Bronte fans, walkers, train buffs, day trippers, vintage enthusiasts and real ale drinkers all love a day out in Haworth.
This year has seen a bumper crop of tourists thanks to celebrations and events in honour of Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday.
Estate agents say it is hard to know how many of these visitors decide to make Haworth their home but some do and its many charms and its literary claim to fame are certainly big selling points.
The term “Bronte Country” features in almost every property brochure and the parsonage, where the sisters grew up, and the moors that feature in their novels, are often highlighted.
Estate agent Chris Holroyd, of Holroyds, says: “It’s hard to say if people buy because they are a fan of the Brontes but the Bronte connection really helps from a marketing point of view. We always mention the famous cobbled Main Street, Bronte Parsonage Museum and the Keighley and Worth Valley Steam Railway.”
Chris, who lives in the village, adds that the local primary school is also a big draw for buyers, especially to those living in nearby Keighley. The glorious countryside is another pull, as are the many amenities.
The village has a grocery store, a pretty park and plenty of independent shops, pubs and cafes. There are buses to nearby Keighley, where there is rail link to Leeds. Halifax and Bradford are a 20-minute drive away, as is the M65, which links to Manchester.
Haworth’s popularity means that incomers have to compete with residents looking to move up and down the property ladder. “Those who already live here tend to stay and we have buyers who aspire to live here. It really is a lovely place to live and it has a great community,” says Chris.
Holroyds’ data reveals that the average selling time for a home in Haworth is just six weeks. Vendors get an average 98.5 per cent of their asking price, although post-Brexit buyers are asking for larger discounts. Property prices have risen between two and three per cent over the past year.
Michael Leighton, manager of Dacre, Son and Hartley’s Keighley branch, says that homes start from about £90,000 to £100,000 for a two-bedroom terraced house, although he has just taken on a two-bedroom back-to-back on Wood Street that is on the market at £70,000 as it needs modernisation.
You can get a semi-detached for £160,000 and a detached from £230,000. The most expensive house on the market at the moment is Vale Barn on Mytholmes Lane. The five-bedroom barn conversion with attached self-contained cottage and 10 acres is on the market at £765,000 with Charnock Bates.
Visitors who coo over the quaint cottages on Main Street will be pleased to know that there is one for sale. The one-bedroom property also has a Bronte connection, as a previous owner, Archibald Leighton, was an associate of Patrick Brontë. The house is on the market for £120,000 with Dacre, Son and Hartley.
Both Chris and Michael agree that the recent EU referendum has had little impact on the property market in Haworth so far. In fact, both agents say that sales have picked up. Would-be buyers worried about being swamped by tourists needn’t worry. Michael says: “Most of the activity centres on Main Street and the residential areas are in a horseshoe shape around it so there is no negative impact.”