Why buyers are swapping city living for Slaithwaite

Slaithwaite’s light is no longer under a bushel as buyers discover the delights of this fashionable village

This two-bedroom  cottage at Elms Hill, Slaithwaite, is £135,000 with www.ryder-dutton.co.uk
This two-bedroom cottage at Elms Hill, Slaithwaite, is £135,000 with www.ryder-dutton.co.uk

It’s hard to pinpoint when Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield, became one of the most fashionably cool villages in West Yorkshire, but the best guess is that the journey began about 10 years ago… and it hasn’t ended yet. “I don’t know how it started exactly but the village has definitely changed since I was a child growing up here,” says estate agent Leanne Randall, the manager of Ryder Dutton’s Slaithwaite office.

What was a largely local market with people trading up and down the property ladder is now a hotspot for young professionals and families who commute to Manchester and Leeds for work. The transport connections are a major draw with trains to Manchester Piccadilly taking about 40 minutes with no changes, while the train to Leeds central takes 35 minutes.

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“We have quite a few couples who buy here because one of them works in Leeds and the other works in Manchester. You have a choice of driving via the M62, which is close, or taking the train,” says Leanne.

The village boasts a host of independent shops and restaurants, like Rumpus burger restaurant, pictured.

The countryside too is part of the attraction. The village abuts a vast swathe of Pennine moorland, which means you never feel hemmed in, and the views over the Colne Valley are spectacular. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal also runs by offering waterside walks.

House prices in Slaithwaite, pronounced “Slathwaite” or “Slawit”’ are seen as good value to those who move from the more desirable city suburbs. Much of the property stock is mill workers cottages or terraced houses and prices start at £125,000 for a two-bedroom terraced house, though the larger and grander terraced homes can sell for £250,000 plus. New-builds are rare but respected local developer SB Homes has a three-bedroom detached home for £289,950 at its Empire Works site.

Buyers are attracted by the scenery, the primary school and the swimming pool and gym, along with the independent shops and restaurants that have sprung up since the “off cummed ‘uns” began arriving.

“There were various turning points, including the launch of a community greengrocers and the reopening of the canal here, though what really seemed to boost the number of buyers from outside was when Aldi built a store here,” says Leanne. ”It did have some opposition but it has been a big draw with those looking to move here and it doesn’t seem to have affected trade at the independent shops.”

Cop Hill Side, Slaithwaite, is a four-bedroom farmhouse for sale at £600,000 with www.fineandcountry.com

Lynsey Ford moved from the Manchester suburb of West Didsbury four-and-a-half years ago to buy a home in Slaithwaite. She says: “My husband is from the area so we knew how well connected it was. The countryside is stunning and getting into central Manchester on the train is easy. There are lots of great bars, restaurants and shops, which is lovely.”

These include the greengrocers, a brewery, vintage stores, the Handmade Bakery, a yoga studio, an arts studio and Acorn and Pip, a children’s emporium with a cafe. There are also big plans for more “indies” which will be housed in Globe Mills.

Those who have bought homes in the village may be pleased to hear that the only way is up for prices, according to estate agent Simon Blyth. “Slaithwaite has a real vibrancy about it. A lot of the cottages and terraces were in mill owners’ hands but they have gradually come into the private market and are being renovated. I don’t think those properties have found their full price potential yet. They still have a way to go so for anyone buying now, they should be a good investment.”

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