Those who live in Driffield, aka the capital of the Wolds, are well aware of its many charms. Now word is spreading and bringing an influx of buyers from outside.
Due largely to its rising popularity, prices in the East Yorkshire market town have shot up by 6.93 per cent over the last year, which is almost double the Yorkshire average.
The increase brought national attention as Zoopla put Driffield at number eight in its table of top ten towns for property price growth in 2018.
Local estate agents are not surprised. “We have seen a huge surge in demand for homes throughout 2018, especially from out-of-town families and first-time buyers,” says Mark Woolley, of Woolley Parks.
“We've seen a lot of people coming out of Beverley to find better value in Driffield. It's only a 15-minute drive and a 12-minute train ride away and prices here were 15.5 per cent lower, though our records show that the gap has now narrowed to 12 per cent.
“That's largely due to supply and demand. Buyer activity in 2018 has been very strong, however the supply of properties coming onto the market has not really increased and that has helped drive price growth.”
Mark adds there has also been a rise in the number of buyers from Hull and Bridlington, along with more house hunters from York, which is almost an hour's drive away.
Simon Dee, of Dee Atkinson and Harrison, believes that developers, who have targeted the town after spotting its potential, have played a big part in luring outside buyers into Driffield, while inadvertently boosting the second-hand homes market.
“We have had an influx of regional and national developers and they have big marketing budgets. That marketing has brought buyers from outside into the town to look at the new developments. They then compare prices and because new-builds are more expensive, they see they can get more for their money in the secondhand market.”
First-time time buyer homes and bungalows are snapped up quickly, sometimes within a day, according to Woolley Parks.
Prices start at about £60,000 for a one-bedroom flat and from £90,000 for a two-bedroom terraced house. Semi-detached houses start at £140,000, detached bungalows from £150,000 and you can find detached houses from £220,000.
Edward Hartshorne, Managing Director at Blenkin & Co. says value for money is the big draw.
“Driffield is a charming, old-fashioned, rural market town that has remained off the region's property radar, being buried deep in the East Riding. Property prices have stayed consistently below those achieved in other market towns, and this is what now makes Driffield an alluring option.”
Its “capital of the Wolds” title is another clue to its appeal. The town is surrounded by some of the most beautiful, unspoilt countryside in Yorkshire. The town also has good facilities including a leisure centre, golf club, sports clubs, library and lots of friendly independent shops.
The only issue for Driffield is the demand on its schools.
“The high school is good but it is full to bursting. That's mainly due to the number of new-builds that have sprung up which have attracted families with school-age children,” says Simon Dee, who predicts that Driffield's popularity will continue throughout 2019.
Mark Woolley agrees: “We strongly believe house prices and demand will continue to rise in 2019, though the annual rise won't be as high as in 2018 because of more supply in the form of new-build homes coming up for sale.”