North Yorkshire house price index

Detached homes in Harrogate see a price boom as Bedale’s slump, according to a local price index. Sharon Dale reports

Harrogate is a property hotspot
Harrogate is a property hotspot

Detached homes in Harrogate have seen a nine per cent rise in value over the last year and are the star performers in a North Yorkshire House Price Index.

Bedale, which was last year’s top performing area, has seen a 12 per cent fall over the last 12 months.

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The annual index is compiled by The Search Partnership and analyses detached properties in key areas, including Ripon, Boroughbridge, Thirsk, Harrogate, Wetherby and Bedale.

It measures pounds per square foot of sales achieved by dividing the Land Registry sale price by the gross internal square footage of every detached house sold.

Tom Robinson, a director of The Search Partnership, says: “On average, over the last 12

months, prices have remained almost exactly level across North Yorkshire.

“The average price per sq.ft. for all houses analysed across the area shows a very small reduction of -0.1 per cent. It has remained flat at £298 per sq.ft over a 24 month period. However, there are some very interesting area differences.

“The figures show that Harrogate has come through what has been an uncertain period for

property very strongly.”

The index shows an average price of £418 per sq.ft. in Harrogate, which is the highest of all the areas analysed.

“Historically, the town has attracted wealthy buyers due to its wide range of attractions and we are unsurprised to see this trend continue. It is a property hotspot,” says Tom, who adds that families are fuelling the growth in prices.

The spa town offers them its 200-acre Stray, excellent state and public schools, a good mix of high street and independent shops and plenty of restaurants.

Pinpointed in national surveys as one of the happiest places to live, it also has a low crime rate and has road and rail links to Leeds and York. T

“The bigger family homes are the most popular and those situated in the Duchy and Saints area of town continue to command the highest price tags and are the most desirable,” says Tom.

The Search Partnership say that Harrogate’s popularity and consistent shortage of property for sale over the last two to three years has driven sold prices up. Also growing in popularity, as buyers look for better value further up the A1, is the area between Masham, Leyburn and Bedale.

The Search Partnership, which specialises in finding outstanding houses, country estates, farms and land, says that demand has consistently been strong in that area, which takes in parts of Swaledale and Wensleydale.

However, Bedale, which was at the top of last year’s North Yorkshire House Price Index, with a 17 per cent growth in prices, appears to have slumped..

“Average sale prices in this area have slowed considerably and are showing a 12 per cent reduction over the last 12 months,” says Search Partnership director Toby Milbank.

The index shows that the value of detached homes in areas surrounding Thirsk, Ripon, Boroughbridge and Wetherby have all remained broadly flat over the last year.

Meanwhile, buyers are turning their attention to the lower Hambleton Hills.

“Villages like Coxwold and Felixkirk are really holding their own, especially if they have a pub, which is often high on buyers’ wish lists,” says Toby, who adds: “Our Index tracks the trends in actual prices paid, rather than advertised prices, so it is a very accurate barometer of the market, as well as a great way to pinpoint how specific locations are performing.

“This time a year ago, we predicted nominal price growth of one per cent for the year which was slightly optimistic as prices have essentially stayed static across North Yorkshire as a whole.

“There are pressures on the housing market from all angles. Stamp Duty is punitive, town centre shop closures reduce demand for local housing and buyers still have to consider the threat of interest rate rises.

“As much as we would prefer to complete our research without mentioning the “B” word, leaving Europe with the perceived threat to businesses, trade and ongoing political uncertainty has caused buyers to think long and hard before making the decision to move house.”

With this in mind, The Search Partnership predicts 12 months of minimal growth across North Yorkshire for the rest of 2019.

Tom Robinson also has this message for those who are considering buying and selling: “Despite the shortage of stock there are still some good buys to be had if buyers look hard enough and extend their geographical brief beyond Harrogate.

“We echo the sentiments of the selling agents and would encourage people to beat the post Brexit rush and get on with selling now.

“We have a list of clients from across the UK and beyond looking to buy and, as prices have held firm, it would be advantageous to bring a property to the market.”

*The Search Partnership, www.thesearchpartnership.co.uk, tel: 01423 324716.