City’s hottest high risers

York apartments'Biba House - Penthouse view
York apartments'Biba House - Penthouse view
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Two flats with £1m plus price tags prove only way is up for the York apartment market. Sharon Dale reports

The property market in central York is red hot but the apartment sector is sizzling thanks to a double whammy that saw its ceiling price smashed twice in less than a week.

York apartments'Marlborough Wharf

York apartments'Marlborough Wharf

A luxurious riverside penthouse at Marlborough Wharf has just hit the market with Croft Residential. It comes with a price tag of £1.1m, which tops the previous high of £1m for a property at Bonding Warehouse, which was sold a year ago for a fraction under.

The 2000sq ft apartment, which comes in at £550 per sq ft, has three bedrooms and two reception rooms. The owners have spent a small fortune fitting it out and it also comes with three balconies, a river view, its own river land stage, a double garage and parking spaces. The three parking spaces alone are worth over £30,000 each.

Just days later, a “for sale” sign went up on a penthouse at Biba House, a new development at St Saviours Place. It has 2061 sq ft of space, two bedrooms, an open-plan living area and two parking spaces. It also boasts views over the city’s rooftops to the Minster and a concierge. The price is £1.25m, which equals a record-breaking £606 per sq ft. Although the property is fitted out, the decorating is in its final stages, though that hasn’t stopped would-be buyers from viewing it. Charlie Lancaster, of Lancaster Samms, which is joint agent with Ashtons, says: “Apartments like this are rare. It is in a great spot, has amazing views and it is brand new with a very high-end finish. The appeal is also in the lifestyle it offers as it is minutes away from the restaurants, shops and the theatre.”

Of course, vendors don’t always get what they ask for but all the evidence points to both penthouses getting near or possibly even over the asking price. The off market sale of an apartment that was never openly advertised recently achieved £1.15m

Toby Cockcroft, of Croft Residential, says: “York is the hottest market in the north of England and the best apartments are sought after, especially by downsizers and second home owners. There is high demand and a shortage of supply.”

Flats traditionally command more per square foot than a house. For £1.1m you can get a six-bedroom townhouse on The Mount with 3,989sq ft of space.

“The attraction of an apartment is that it is easy to lock up and leave. The maintenance and service charge means the building and grounds are looked after so a lot of hard work is taken away,” says Toby.

Ben Pridden, of Savills, says the market in prime central York is seeing an influx of buyers from all over the Britain looking for a better quality of life. The city’s historic heart, its racecourse, top schools and shops, easy access to Leeds and the North York Moors, Wolds and the coast are all part of its attraction. The two-hour rail journey to London is another big appeal.

Savills research shows that property values in central York have risen by 14.4 per cent over the past five years. Over the last year, they have increased by 3.5 per cent, while values in the surrounding areas have dropped by 0.9 per cent.

Ben says: “I have never known anything like it. The interest in York is extraordinary. Everyone wants to be here. They are from all walks of life and they are coming from all over. Forty per cent of our buyers are from outside Yorkshire and most of those come from London and the South East.”