When Keighley appeared bold as brass at number five in Rightmove’s recent top 10 asking price hotspots outside London, there were a few raised eyebrows, especially in the neighbouring towns of Ilkley and Skipton, which are regarded as more desirable.
Keighley, the birthplace of Captain Sir Tom Moore, has seen house prices rise by 11 per cent over the past year, way above the Yorkshire average, which Rightmove puts at three per
cent. Average home values in the town and its villages increased from £175,766 to £195,175 between February 2020 and February 2021, which means the area is becoming more sought after.
Patrick McCutcheon, Head of Residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, says: “The metric of asking prices is a strong indicator of places that are proving popular with home-movers, because the more desirable a location becomes, the more prices go up. Keighley has everything going for it with fantastic local amenities, rail links, good schools and superb countryside on its doorstep but property in the town is still cheaper than many neighbouring towns.”
One of Keighley’s biggest draws is its railway station with trains to Leeds, Bradford and Skipton. The Brontë moors are on the doorstep and the Dales are just a short drive or train ride away.
Even with the recent surge in prices, housing is still relatively affordable in Keighley and the surrounding area. In the town itself, you can still find a two-bedroom terraced house for £60,000.
Ian Bradbury, Dacre, Son & Hartley’s Aire Valley director and head of its Keighley office, says: “We have been very busy over the past year. I think some of it is due to the pandemic changing what people want from a home and some of it is pent-up demand.”
Ian defines Keighley as the town itself and six surrounding villages: Long Lee; Riddlesden; Uttley; Haworth; Oakworth and Oxenhope. All are roughly two miles from the centre of town, apart from Oxenhope, which is four miles hence.
He says: “I think most of the price increase reported by Rightmove has come from the villages and I think the interest in them began with the Tour de France in 2014. I always say that race did more for the Worth Valley than the Brontës and The Railway Children put together.
“When the cyclists came down Main Street in Haworth, the film crews in the helicopters showed the beautiful scenery in the Worth Valley to the world.”
Values too have been a lure. Ian estimates that Keighley properties are 25 to 30 per cent cheaper than those in nearby Skipton, Ilkley and Bingley.
Haworth is a prime spot, though Ian recalls a time years ago when buyers regarded it as “too far out and too cold”. How times have changed.
Amenities in the Keighley area include schools rated good, an abundance of parks and plenty of sports facilities. There are regular bus services from the villages to the centre of town, where there is a Sainsbury’s, a Morrisons, an Asda and a Lidl.
“Buyers are coming from all over the country. Most recently we have had them from Essex, Sussex and the North of Scotland,” says Ian.
Along with those looking to make their home in the area, Laura Paterson from Holroyds estate agents, says that more buy-to-let investors are snapping up homes in Keighley. “Prices in the town itself here are low compared to other places and that means that rental yields are good,” says Laura.
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