It was regarded as a poor relation to bohemian Hebden Bridge but now Todmorden's time has come

Buyers are discovering the Todmorden area’s charms and house prices are booming because of it

It has long been regarded as the poor relation to its famous bohemian neighbour Hebden Bridge, but it now appears that Todmorden’s time has come. Homes there are selling like hot cakes, a fact confirmed by Rightmove’s buyer demand hotspot table, where “Tod” starred in fifth place after recording a 101 per cent annual increase in demand when compared with last January.

The only question is: why did it take so long for home buyers to realise that Todmorden and its surrounding villages have a huge amount to offer? Those who live there have long been cognisant of the fact that this vibrant town beats its hipster neighbour hands down in terms of amenities and while it’s not so overtly alternative, it is a happy mix between mainstream and “out there” but without the hoards of day trippers.

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Both towns have a railway station with links to Manchester and Leeds but where Hebden Bridge has one supermarket, Todmorden boasts a Morrrisons, an Aldi and a Lidl. Plus, there are markets five days a week. There are also independent shops, including the much-loved Saker Bakery, part of Todmorden-based Saker Wholefoods, not forgetting the Incredible Edible movement, which achieved nationwide fame for planting and growing fruit, herbs and vegetables on patches of land around town. The produce is free for everyone to share.

By the Rochdale canal in the centre of Todmorden with views of Stoodley PikeBy the Rochdale canal in the centre of Todmorden with views of Stoodley Pike
By the Rochdale canal in the centre of Todmorden with views of Stoodley Pike

Like Hebden Bridge, “Tod” has a beautiful park but in addition it also has a leisure centre with a gym, fitness classes, 25 metre swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, football pitch and tennis courts. The area also boasts some of the best pubs in the Calder Valley, including The Shepherds Rest and The Top Brink, both close to the village of Lumbutts, and wherever you live, there are rural walks in stunning south Pennine countryside.

House prices are lower than those in Hebden Bridge, though they are catching up. The average asking price in Todmorden is now £214,137 and in Hebden Bridge it is £253,187, according to Rightmove. The disparity may not appear great but it differs wildly when it comes to terraced homes. In Todmorden, the average sale price of a terraced house over the past year was £134,830 and in Hebden Bridge, where most homes are terraced, it was £227,578.

Buyers paying over asking price is now common and this boosted overall sold prices in both areas with the Todmorden seeing a 39 per cent rise and Hebden Bridge a 25 per cent increase between February 2021 and February 2022.

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Ben Turner, of Anthony J. Turner estate agents, says that Todmorden’s recent boost in popularity has been driven by the value it still offers and the realisation that it is very well-served. The growing number of would-be buyers who have been priced out of Hebden Bridge and those who live in large towns and cities have also been noted.

Todmorden has markets five days a weekTodmorden has markets five days a week
Todmorden has markets five days a week

Tara Stone of Reeds Rains estate agents says: “Buyers are looking at Todmorden because you can get more for your money and it has good amenities.”

Enid Fielden, 76, has lived in the area all her life and is selling her beautiful home at Tower View in the sought-after hamlet of Lumbutts, pictured right, to downsize to central Todmorden and be close to friends. She has seen the town change over the years but says it still has the same friendly, down to earth feel it has always had and adds: “Todmorden hasn’t lost anything along the way and it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than it is.”