Hull’s property market is benefitting thanks to the feel-good factor surrounding the City of Culture.
Fame is a fickle mistress but right now she is shining her spotlight on Hull and the constant rounds of applause for this year’s UK City of Culture are having a beneficial effect on the property market.
“It’s put us on the map. There’s a positive atmosphere in the city and the property market thrives on feel-good factor. Homes are selling faster and vendors are getting close to their asking price,” says estate agent Robert Beercock of Beercocks.
There is a lot to feel good about. The City of Culture is off to a great start, the economy is doing well thanks to record levels of investment, including the Siemens factory, and Hull City football club is in the Premier League.
Robert Beercock believes that property values last year rose between five and 7.5 per cent and expects a similar performance this year. Prices are affordable. The cheapest home for sale is a one-bedroom flat for £15,000 and there are terraced houses for £40,000. First-time buyers can find a two-bedroom house in a reasonable area for £80,000.
In central Hull, apartments by the marina and period townhouses on the Avenues are the most fashionable places to live. A four-bedroom townhouse on the Avenues starts at about £220,000. The new-builds on the Kingswood Estate are also a magnet for buyers and old favourites on the outskirts of the city, such as Kirk Ella and Cottingham, remain popular.
Apart from a significant number of investors attracted to the high rental yields to be had at the bottom end of the market, most of those looking to buy in Hull live there already. It is a largely local market, though there is one spectacular exception.
Beal Homes is preparing to build 101 mews-style houses and apartments in the old Fruit Market area of the city centre as part of an £80m joint venture with Wykeland and the city council. They are not yet for sale and there has been no marketing but over 1,400 people have called Beal HQ to register an interest in buying.
“It’s phenomenal and very exciting. The interest isn’t just from Hull, it’s nationwide, which is unusual,” says the firm’s chairman, Richard Beal. “Seventy per cent are would-be owner occupiers and 30 per cent are investors.”
Archaeologists are scoping the land before the ground works begin and, all being well, foundations for the Fruit Market’s one, two and three-bedroom homes will be laid later this year. The first owners could move i next year.
The residential element of the scheme was due to be built in stages over a three years but completion may now be much sooner. “If the amount of interest we have seen transfers into sales then we will build as fast as we can,” says Richard, who is looking at other brownfield sites in central Hull.
“The Fruit Market will make a city centre lifestyle more attractive and the evening economy more sustainable. It is a very special development but the last thing we want is lots of high rise buildings full of empty apartments so city centre development has got to grow at its own pace.”
There is little doubt that it will grow, especially as more people discover the delights of this beautiful waterside city.
“It looks better than most parts of Leeds,” says Robert Beercock. “Those of us who live here know it’s a hidden gem.”
*For details on Fruit Market visit www.fruitmarkethull.co.uk. For Hull City of Culture 2017 events visit www.hull2017.co.uk