It’s the best place to live in Yorkshire and second best in the UK. Now property prices in Richmondshire are starting to reflect its popularity. Sharon Dale reports.
No-one who lives there was surprised when Richmondshire was named as the best place to live in Yorkshire and, after being pipped to the post by Orkney, the second best place to live in the UK.
The number crunchers who compiled the Halifax bank Quality of Life Survey get top marks for nailing many of the reasons why.
The area, which includes the market towns of Richmond, Leyburn and Hawes, and a swathe of the Dales, including Swaledale, Wensleydale and Coverdale, boasts excellent personal wellbeing scores across all measures of life satisfaction, including happiness and low anxiety.
It also has a low crime rate, traffic flows, population density and primary class sizes and it has one of the highest ratios of pubs to population.
This latest Halifax survey will no doubt tempt home buyers to the area but it can’t take all the credit for a steady migration that began in 2014.
“What really helped put Richmondshire on the map was the Tour de France in 2014, followed by the Tour de Yorkshire races,” says Tim Gower of Robin Jessop estate agents. “People’s awareness of this area has definitely increased as a result of these events which have showcased the beauty of North Yorkshire. The demand for properties has certainly increased as a result.”
Tim and Richard Thompson of Marcus Alderson estate agents also point to the upgrading of the A1 to a three lane motorway between Dishforth and Barton, near Scotch Corner, which has eased congestion and made journey times faster.
The drive from Richmond to Leeds takes an hour and ten minutes and from Leyburn to Leeds is an hour and 15 minutes on a clear run.
Richard says: “The A1 upgrade together with rail links to London from nearby Northallerton, have put much of our area in line with the Golden Triangle as far as buyers are concerned.”
He adds that Richmond’s excellent state schools are a big attraction and believes that the Scotch Corner designer outlet village, due to open in 2020, will also be a big pull.
Supply, however, could be an issue due to a steady increase in buyers and an influx of army personnel at Catterick Garrison.
The army town, which is three miles from Richmond, is set to increase staffing by 50 per cent.
“There is a shortage of army houses and so some personnel will decide to buy. Just last week, we had a number of people from military backgrounds who have moved up here and are looking at family homes in the Richmond area,” says Richard.
The average house price in Richmondshire, where the main industries are agriculture and tourism, is £202,471 and Land Registry figures show that values grew five per cent over the year to November 2018.
Prices in the pretty Georgian town of Richmond start from £125,000 for a two-bedroom cottage. In Leyburn and Hawes starting prices are about 15 per cent higher. Population density is 41 people per square km in Richmond so roads are quieter. Cumbria has 73 people per sq. km and Harrogate has 155.
“The social makeup of the area has changed over and we have more incomers. We get a lot of buyers from West and South Yorkshire, the south and Scotland,” says Tim Gower.
“This is a beautiful place to live, accessibility is good and the market towns have everything you could need.”
Richmondshire’s popularity has helped create a microclimate for property prices.
“Prices seem to be growing at the moment,” says Tim. “But even in the slump they held their own, which makes the area a safe bet for buyers.”