STARTLING new figures show the average value of a house in Harrogate has risen by more than £1,100 a month for the last decade.
The investigation, by Lloyds TSB, shows that the value of the town’s property has increased far more sharply than many people realised.
It found that the average house price has more than doubled since 2001, from £127,386 to £264,113.
It means that Harrogate homes have gained, on average, an incredible £1,139 in value every month for the last 10 years.
Chartered surveyor Andrew Kempston-Parkes said the area’s stability has played a big part in securing a strong housing market.
“People want to live here because it’s beautiful, it’s green, it’s surrounded by the dales. Harrogate has remained particularly resilient.”
Mr Kempston-Parkes has put the town’s continually rising worth down to three main points – high levels of employment, demand for the rental market because of the proximity of Menwith Hill, and a consistent need for homes because people simply want to live here.
“All of this has meant that when the falls came in 2004 and 2008, Harrogate wasn’t as affected as the rest of the country,” he said.
The Lloyds TSB survey, based on house price data from the Land Registry, found that buyers were required to part with an extra £48,000, on average, to live in a spa town.
It found that house prices in Boston Spa had risen by an average of £140,710 over the past 10 years, and in Knaresborough, by £139,677.
Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: “Homes in spa towns continue to command a substantial premium over their neighbouring areas with the quality of life benefits and sense of history that typically characterise such locations still resonating amongst home buyers.
“However, as a consequence of rising property prices, housing market conditions in spa towns have become tougher over the past decade, particular for those looking to get on the property ladder for the first time.”
One of those struggling in the current Harrogate housing market is accounts assistant Linda Cheung, 29, who lives in Jennyfield with her husband and her two sons, aged nine and five.
The family bought their first home, a two-bed flat, for £105,000 in 2005. It has been on the market for five years, and despite dropping the asking price from £125,000 to £99,000, they simply cannot sell.
“If we lower our price even more, we won’t be able to afford to move house,” she said.
“The only thing we can do is to carry on plodding along and see whether the situation improves.
“It gives us time to save up more deposit for the next property, but it’s frustrating because we want to move on.”
l Have you gained - or suffered - from the rise in house prices? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @HarogateHound or write to the address on page 10.
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