City living in Leeds has boomed over the past 20 years and the apartments and the fashionable bars and restaurants that have grown up around them are a magnet for bright young things. Now Hull is giving Leeds a run for its money thanks in large part to the regeneration of its Fruit Market district.
This waterfront location was run-down and semi-derelict when local house builder Beal Homes and commercial property developer Wykeland got together with Hull City Council and came up with an ambitious £80m plan to regenerate the area. The result is a new cultural, commercial and residential district, with Humber Street, in the city’s Old Town, at its heart.
Along with clever conversions of the old buildings into cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, all of which are independents, there are studio spaces for artists and makers and a performance venue.
A sense of community comes from 105 new homes, which are a combination of renovations and conversions plus new-builds, which are attractive and contemporary and designed to appeal to everyone from first-time buyers and young families to downsizers
The Fruit Market residential development is now nearing completion, with just 15 new properties left to buy, priced from £189,995 to £279,995. The mews-style properties by Beal Homes are arranged around four private courtyards and three show homes are open to view.
Jamie Barrington, Sales Operations Manager for Beal Homes, says: “The Fruit Market has made such a big difference to the city centre. It has a cool vibe. It’s the place to be and the fact that the shops, bars, cafes and restaurants are quirky and independent gives it a great feel, as does its waterfront position by the marina.”
The new footbridge over the busy A63 is also bringing more visitors, as is the new car park.
“The Fruit Market offers a great lifestyle and the homes we have sold here have attracted every demographic from young people who love the buzz of it to older people, some of whom previously lived in rural areas and felt isolated during the pandemic," adds Jamie.
Dr Pranab Sarkar and his wife, Ratna, are recent converts to city living in Hull after selling their detached house in Blackburn to buy a penthouse apartment at The Glass House in Queen’s Gardens. They wanted to live closer to their son, who works as a GP in the area. “We had planned a move to Beverley and were looking for a detached home when my daughter-in-law suggested looking at The Glass House. It has everything going for it, including a fabulous location, security, parking, amenities and exceptionally helpful Glass House staff," says Dr Sarkar.
“I’m pleased to say that living in Hull city centre has a great sense of safety. People are friendly and welcoming and this makes such a difference to daily life. Hull is a vibrant city with lots of culture, all on our doorstep. We love food, art and music so being just a short walk from the heart of the action makes life feel full.”
Megan Malcolmson of Symonds and Greenham estate agents has also seen greater interest in city centre living and says: “We have always had people buying to live and also renting here because they want to be close to work but it’s definitely become more desirable. We have seen a lot more young people moving here recently and investors are also snapping up property so prices are rising.”
Even so, Hull is the least expensive area of Yorkshire, with an average house price of £157,323.