A closer look at the latest Land Registry house price data shows that estate agents reporting a boom in the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales were absolutely correct, though even they are surprised at the eye-watering leap recorded.
Over the year from December 2019 to December 2020, paid prices shot up by 24.3 per cent in the Richmondshire district, which includes the towns of Richmond, Hawes, Leyburn and the surrounding villages in Swaledale, Arkengarthdale, Wensleydale and Coverdale. The average house price rise in Yorkshire was 10.4 per cent over the same period and the UK average was 8.5 per cent.
Richard Thompson of the Marcus Alderson estate agent in Richmond says: “I think a lot of that 24.3 per cent rise is probably down to the top end of the market in Richmondshire. We have seen a big increase in the prices of homes at the top end and buyers are paying above the asking price because there is a shortage of stock. It is a supply and demand issue. Before we list a home for sale on the internet we email the buyers who are registered with us and who might be interested. We used to average at 20 emails per property. I put a house on the market the other day and sent 136 emails to prospective buyers. That is the level of demand and it is across the board.”
Richard says that Richmond, which is close to the A1M, and the Swaledale villages are more affordable than hotspots in the Southern Dales, such as Grassington. “We have buyers who work in Leeds and Newcastle looking to move here because they can access the A1M. We have also had people from London and Kent and the Lake District. This area is more affordable than places like Harrogate and York and the Lake District is seen as saturated and busy. Richmondshire is the third least populated shire in England with beautiful countryside and roads that aren’t congested and that is a big pull.”
Tim Gower of the Robin Jessop estate agency in Leyburn, which covers the northern Dales, recently alerted Property Post readers to a new “rural premium” being paid by buyers competing to secure the most desirable homes. He noted some were paying 10 to 15 per cent above the asking price. “The premium is not just being driven by the stamp duty holiday. It is primarily the lure of being able to live and work in a beautiful place with lovely views and walks and that has heightened since the first lockdown,” says Tim. “We are also seeing buyers from all age ranges. It’s not just those in their 50s moving here, it’s young professionals who can now work from home.”
The Land Registry house price index also brought a shock for the Harrogate local authority district, which includes the sought-after spa town, Ripon and surrounding villages. Prices in the area rose by only 1.3 per cent over the year to December 2020, though it is still the most expensive place to buy a home in Yorkshire. The average house price is £294,690. Estate agents Simon Wright and Tony Wright of the Carter Jonas Harrogate office are amazed at what appears to be an anomaly.
Simon says: “We are very surprised because the market has been very busy and we would say that there has been a four or five per cent increase in prices over that time frame. The only thing we can think of to explain the lower figure is that the market for apartments, which Harrogate in particular has a lot of, has slowed during lockdown because buyers have been looking to the villages for outside space. This fall in apartment sales could have skewed the figures.”
The unusual statistical blip does not detract from the buoyancy of the property market in Harrogate, which is as hot as ever with buyers desperate to make their home in the attractive town, which has road and rail links to Leeds and easy access to the A1M, along with good schools and some of the best shopping in Yorkshire.
The least expensive place to buy a home in Yorkshire is Hull, with an average house price of £116,233. The 10.4 per cent growth in the region over the year to December 2020 puts the average Yorkshire house price at 187,902.
Here are the Yorkshire house prices rises by local authority area over the year from December 2019 and December 2020, along with the average house price, according to the Land Registry.
Barnsley, 9.1 per cent (£141,634); Bradford, 12.5 per cent (£154,899); Calderdale, 7.7 per cent (£161,622); Hull, 2.4 per cent (£116,233); Craven 11.9 per cent (£244,843); Doncaster, 7.4 per cent (£142,313); East Riding, 7.9 per cent (£194,768); Hambleton, 12.4 per cent (£262,851); Harrogate, 1.3 per cent (294,690); Kirklees, 8.8 per cent (£165,701); Leeds, 10.8 per cent (£209,892); North Yorkshire, 8.5 per cent (£242,449); Richmondshire, 24.3 per cent (£255,336) ; Rotherham, 8.6 per cent (£154,860); Ryedale, 14.5 per cent (£267,472); Scarborough, 6.3 per cent (181,037); Selby, 9 per cent (£217,574); Sheffield, 7.3 per cent (£183,090); Wakefield, 10.6 per cent (£167,497); York, 6 per cent (£267,932).