Why property in Huddersfield weathered Britain’s house price downturn the best

A recent analysis of UK house prices from the Halifax bank showed that the Huddersfield postcode area weathered Britain’s house price downturn best over the last year.

It topped the chart after analysts calculated that the average value of homes in the area rose 8.7 per cent between October 2022 and October 2023.

That took the average residential property price in Huddersfield from £253,301 in 2022 to £275,438 in 2023, delivering an average increase in value of £22,137.

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Despite that, the area is still relatively affordable, which is a draw for would-be buyers.

Huddersfield's magnificent railway station with s statue of Harold Wilson in the foregroundHuddersfield's magnificent railway station with s statue of Harold Wilson in the foreground
Huddersfield's magnificent railway station with s statue of Harold Wilson in the foreground

The HD postcode covers Huddersfield and Holmfirth in the Borough of Kirklees, and Brighouse in the Borough of Calderdale.

The reasons for the value uplift are multiple, according to estate agents who are best placed to analyse the whys and wherefores.

Simon Blyth, founder of the eponymous Simon Blyth group of estate agencies, which has branches in Huddersfield and Holmfirth, says: “We have just completed the sale of a £5 million property on the outskirts of Huddersfield, via a joint agency with Knight Frank. That figure in itself is a record.”

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He adds “I think Huddersfield has been underestimated in the past but that is changing, which could be the reason for the price growth.

“It has a busy town centre and a lot of great surrounding suburbs and villages and, of course, a huge amount of beautiful countryside. It’s also very well located geographically for access to the M62 and the M1.”

The area’s road and rail links and its workforce have also attracted businesses including engineering, chemical engineering and manufacturing enterprises.

Huddersfield was certainly a hive of industry in the late 19th and early to mid 20th century and fortunes were made.

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This wealth was put to good use in constructing exceptional homes and public buildings. The latter including the Grade I listed Huddersfield railway station now fronted by a statue of former Labour Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson, who was born and brought up in the area.

The station has services to Leeds and Manchester and is described by poet and writer John Betjeman as “the most splendid station facade in England”.

“There are a lot of quarries in Huddersfield and that lovely natural stone was put to good use in this area,” says Simon Blyth.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the wealthy and adventurous were among the first in Britain to embrace mid-century modern design and there are a surprising number of architect designed homes that typify that movement, including Farnley Hey.

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Some of the most sought after areas of Huddersfield include Lindley and Edgerton, both closer to Halifax and a hop and a skip from the M62. Almondbury, two miles from the centre of Huddersfield, is also popular, as is the Holmfirth area and also Denby Dale, which is a 15 minute drive to the M1.

Most recently, the popularity of Huddersfield University has increased the number of buy-to-lets while the Colne Valley has played a big part in boosting property values.

The villages of Marsden, home to Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, and neighbouring Slaithwaite are high on the list for buyers as both have railway stations with connections to Manchester and Leeds.

Getting to Leeds requires a change at Huddersfield but the journey to Manchester is straight through and gets you into Piccadilly railway station in just over half an hour.

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It is this and the advent of hybrid working from home that has helped turn was a largely local market into a hotspot for young professionals and families who commute to Manchester and Leeds for work.

Both villages abut Pennine moorland and offer rural views and walks. There are also walks along the Huddersfield canal.

Slaithwaite has garnered the greatest attention from buyers thanks to its host of amenities, including great independent shops, and its reputation for being a “cool” place to be.

“Prices haven’t fallen here. They are similar to a year ago and some have gone up a touch,” says Leanne Randall, manager of the Ryder and Dutton estate agency in Slaithwaite.

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“We have local buyers plus couples who work in Manchester and Leeds. We’ve also seen more buyers who work from home who have been able to move here to enjoy the lifestyle the village offers, then there are people who visit for a day out and then want to move here.”

Prices in Slaithwaite start at around £170,000 for a two-bed terraced house , £250,000 for a semi-detached and £400,000 plus for a detached.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​