When Anne Steel retired from a career in education, she bought a longed for, two-bedroom cottage in the country.
“I hadn’t thought it through. It was a ten mile round trip to the nearest shop and I began to feel very isolated,” says Anne, who moved to an apartment in a market town.
A last time move is a big decision and those who have asked all the right questions often settle on the retirement hotspots of North and East Yorkshire.
One of the favourites, which has been voted best place to retire to, is Skipton. It has low crime rates, a train station, the Dales on the doorstep and a thriving community.
Amanda May of Dale Eddison estate agents in Skipton, says: “People visit the town and go away with thinking ‘this would be a great place to retire to’, and many of them do actually come back with that intention.
“We also meet a great number of older people who choose to come here because their sons and daughters have settled into family life here due to the great schools.”
There are one-bedroom apartments within a few minutes’ walk of the high street starting at £100,000, while two-bedroom bungalows, which are further from the centre, start at about £170,000.
Harrogate is well-known target for retirees and is blessed with a high number of apartments but as the town becomes busier, buyers are turning their attention to Wetherby.
It has no train station but it is close to the A1M and has a smaller community with plenty of independent shops.
Apartments by the riverside are much sought-after by downsizers. Dacre, Son and Hartley is marketing a two-bedroom duplex there for £425,000. It has secure parking, a lift and is in easy walking distance of the town centre.
Paul Baxter, manager of Dacre, Son & Hartley’s Wetherby office says: “Wetherby is a traditional market town with friendly local businesses and excellent road links, but relatively little congestion, making for an attractive, low stress lifestyle.”
Prices start from £100,000 for a one bedroom flat up to £600,000 for an apartment overlooking the River Wharfe. A two-bedroom, semi detached bungalow is just under £200,000.
For those who want to retire to the seaside, Bridlington holds enormous appeal. Prices are relatively low and the terrain is largely flat. It also has lots of bungalows with prices starting at £120,000 for a two-bedroom property.
The majority are a mile or two outside the centre but are close to bus routes.
You can find a one-bedroom apartment in central Bridlington for £40,000 and a two-bedroom apartment from £70,000, but Diane Shah of Hunters estate agents says that most retirees want a bungalow.
“The bungalow areas like The Crayke and Sandsacre are often supported by shops, GP surgeries and pubs,” says Diane, who estimates that half of the buyers are from Yorkshire and half are from out of the area. Most have dreamed of retiring to “Brid” after holidaying there.
Cities, especially York, are also attracting the older generation who buy into apartment living and the buzz of city life. Purpose-built retirement villages are also beginning to catch on.
Mickle Hill in Pickering has proved popular and, along with flats and bungalows, it has a cinema, a bistro, bar and activities room.
Prices start at £199,950 for one-bedroom apartments and £275,000 for a bungalow. The service and wellbeing charges start at £96.83 per week.