Over half of North Yorkshire buyers are outsiders
North Yorkshire is experiencing a friendly invasion, according to new research that pinpoints exactly who is buying. Sharon Dale reports.
North Yorkshire’s ample charms are no secret but the natives may be surprised by new figures that reveal an invasion of “off cummed ’uns”.
Over half of home buyers are from outside the area, according to research by Strutt and Parker.
Last year, 56 per cent of those who bought properties from the Harrogate-based estate agent were moving in after being seduced by the prospect of stunning countryside dotted with pretty market towns and villages.
“I thought around a third of buyers were from out of the area so even I was quite staggered when I realised the figure had crept up so high,” says Toby Milbank, head of residential at Strutt and Parker’s Harrogate office, which specialises in mid to top end property.
While 16 per cent of buyers migrated from West Yorkshire, 40 per cent were from outside the county altogether. They included an American-based businessman born in West Yorkshire and an African buyer, who wanted to send his daughter to a top private school.
“Many are Yorkshire-born and want to return to their roots and a lot of families are attracted by the lifestyle and the schools. The transport links are also a factor.
“We are selling more houses to people who work in London three or four days a week and who will travel there and back on the train from York,” says Toby.
“As the North-South divide in property prices widens, North Yorkshire offers great value for money, a better lifestyle and excellent schooling and we are seeing more buyers cashing in on that.
“They can sell their home in the south and buy a cheaper one here leaving them with money in the bank. You can sell your £1.5m property in Buckinghamshire and get something bigger and better for £800,000 in North Yorkshire.
“We have had numerous examples of local buyers bidding against national buyers, which has enabled houses to be sold for a higher price. Those from outside usually win the bidding battles.”
Toby carried out his analysis so he could provide an answer to a common question.
“We are often asked: ‘who do you think might buy our house?’ and, like other agents, we relied on anecdotal evidence. I decided to find the definitive answers from the information we had gathered over the past year. Understanding more about the buyers allows us to market our properties to the right audience.”
The data also reveals that the age of average buyer is decreasing. Over a third were under 40, while the over 60s market was just 12 per cent.
“The reason is that older people are normally content and settled in their houses,” says Toby, who found that 58 per cent of buyers had made their money in the professional services or were entrepreneurs.
Before the credit crunch in 2008, 30 per cent were from the property industry but they have dwindled to 13 per cent. Only two per cent worked in agriculture.
The most popular places to buy were Harrogate, the fringes of the North York Moors and the Dales.
“Nice flats within walking distance of Harrogate town centre are very popular and we have a long list of buyers for those,” says Toby.
“The Dales is a dream for a lot people, though if it is more remote it has to be the perfect house in the perfect spot with no issues. We are also seeing more activity in the area surrounding the upgraded A1 between Ripon and Thirsk.”
Those coming up from the south want to be rural and crave peace and quiet so their first move tends to be to the “the middle of nowhere”, say Strutt and Parker. When their children get older they move to a town for the convenience. The study also asked vendors why they had put their properties up for sale.
“When belts are being tightened, it is perhaps not surprising that most are downsizing ,” says Toby. “Many of our clients want to downsize to something less expensive to run that will allow them to put some money aside for the future.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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