York’s most expensive new-build home is attracting a queue of would-be buyers. Sharon Dale reports.
With a price tag of £1.85m, the King’s Guinea is no bargain buy but the new-build is now the hottest property in York.
The spectacular 5,000 sq ft house on Tadcaster Road is named after a famous racehorse and is an odds-on favourite with wealthy purchasers who are queueing up to view it.
Louise Hirst, of Carter Jonas, which is marketing the property, says: “Even before a brick was laid, we had interest from would-be buyers. We know there are a lot of people out there waiting for the right property to come along before they show their hand.”
York has long been a magnet for millionaires moving from the country to the city and, more recently, it has attracted top-end buyers looking to relocate from London and the south east. Period properties were always top of their wish-list but the King’s Guinea has proved what estate agents have already recognised as a trend.
“A few years ago very few high-end buyers wanted a new-build but that has changed. There has been a significant move towards new properties. People like the idea of a home that is energy efficient and low maintenance,” says Louise, who adds: “Very few large new houses are built in York so the King’s Guinea offers a very rare opportunity. It looks like something you’d find in the Home Counties, plus it has a garden, garaging and parking. With period properties, buyers often have to sacrifice at least one of those three elements.”
Developer the Helmsley Group could have put flats on the site, which overlooks the racecourse, but Chairman John Reeves says: “It would’ve been more profitable but I felt that wasn’t right for the area. It’s unusual for a developer to build something like this but we like to do something different.”
The property, which is in a walled garden, has six bedrooms, gardens, an outbuilding, garage and parking. Its location is a major selling point. Close to fashionable Bishopthorpe, it is a 25-minute walk into the centre of the city. Properties in York’s historic heart or within walking distance of it are the most sought after, especially with those who commute by rail to London and Leeds.
“The train links are a big attraction. The journey from York to King’s Cross takes less than two hours. There is a lot of office development and new creative industries around the King’s Cross station area so I can see the interest in York growing further,” says Louise Hirst. “I showed a Saudi princess round a property recently and she looked at it because York has rail links to Edinburgh and London. We are definitely on the map for those kind of buyers.”
Like many areas of the country, York is suffering from a lack of property for sale and the supply problem has helped push up prices. Carter Jonas say that property values in and around the city centre rose about five per cent last year and expect a similar increase this year. James Nicholson, of Lancaster Samms estate agency, agrees and adds: “We are also seeing fewer investors and more people buying to live in York.”
Prices start at about £160,000 for a two-bedroom terraced house. For those struggling to afford the most fashionable hotspots, James suggests The Groves area, which is close to the city centre and the hospital.
“It’s up and coming and it has some lovely period terraces,” he says.