Leeds property: No surprise for Horsforth estate agents as suburb named one of most desirable places to live in UK
It has come as “no surprise” to local estate agents that Horsforth has been revealed as one of the most sought after places to live in the country.
The west Leeds suburb was named as one of the most desirable places to purchase a home in the UK by property website Rightmove.
It analysed which neighbourhoods saw house-hunters signing up for alerts about properties coming on the market, which is the earliest indicator of buyer demand in a local area.
Horsforth was named as the fifth most sought after area and is the only Yorkshire suburb to make the list.
Richard Hare, sales manager of independent estate agents HOP, said he was “not surprised” to see Horsforth on the list.
Richard, who is based at the company’s new Horsforth office, said: “It doesn’t come as a surprise because I have worked around Horsforth for several years and it's always been popular.
“It's been mentioned as a top place to live in the UK many times, not in terms of house prices but in terms of popularity, so it’s not a shock but it is still pleasant to hear.
He added: “You've got so much stuff on your doorstep here.
“It is close to country walks, close to the canal, there’s outstanding schools, the university, sports pitches, and it has a great independent high street with lots of bars, restaurants, pubs and shops.
“In terms of transport, there is the train station, good bus routes, the airport around the corner,
“If you work in the city, or want a dinner out with your wife, it’s only about £5 return into Leeds and takes about 10 minutes.
“Horsforth is a friendly place and you can walk down Town Street, or down New Road Side, and you can guarantee you'll know someone to say hello to.
“It's just that type of environment and a friendly community where everyone knows one another.
“It's just a really popular, cool, trendy family orientated place to live.”
Although the town didn’t bag a spot on the official list in the recent Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2021 guide, it was specifically mentioned by the judges, who described it as a “city suburb with a proper country feel”.
Does Richard think Horsforth will join Chapel Allerton and gain a place on next year’s Best Places list?
“Yes definitely”, he said. “Especially with the way the markets is going and the way the property prices are,”
“You'll set a property live in Horsforth and in the current conditions, you'd be surprised if you don't get over 20 viewings per property
“The demand completely outweighs the supply at the moment and that's thanks to the stamp duty extension and mortgage lenders offering low rates, with people being able to purchase a 95 per cent mortgage.
“The government does an awful lot to encourage the housing market and to keep it going because of course there's no quicker way to put money to the economy than through property.”
He added: “With the properties we are setting live, we're getting 25 viewings within 24 hours, within seven days it's sold and then within a few months it's gone through.
“It couldn't be any busier for people.
“I would encourage people to move to Horsforth because it is consistently recognised as a great place to live and that means that your house price is only going to cement itself.
“You're not going to be making a loss on that so it's always a steady investment.
“The beauty of Horsforth is that it has got something for everyone. There's plenty of first-time buyers who can get involved around here.
“Houses can range from £200,000 to £2million so there’s something suited for everyone, whether it's a young family, upsizing, downsizing or even retirement homes for the elderly.”
Rightmove data shows that average house prices in Horsforth have risen from £238,665 in April 2011 to £312,460 in April 2021.
This is an increase of 30 per cent over the ten years.
The consistent rise in prices in the area is one of the reasons HOP decided to open its third branch in the suburb, as part of its expansion plans.
The Horsforth branch opened up in New Road Side just two weeks ago and is the third HOP office, with other sites in Pusdey and the city centre.
The new office spans two floors and will offer residential property sales and lettings, as well as being home to HOP’s property management team and the company’s training centre.
Staff hope to offer a new ‘personal approach’ to the community and have been working with local businesses such as Green House Bakery to host competitions and give out "HOPcake" buns to nearby residents.
Richard said: “We're big believers that estate agencies can be quite dated and it can be quite an old fashioned industry.
“We’re hoping to bring a fresh approach to that and be much more personal.
“Buying and selling a house is the biggest and most stressful investment of your life.
“We are big believers that people want their hand-holding through this process, they want that communication other agents might not provide them.
He added: “The new office is vibrant and bright and we welcome anyone just to pop down, grab a cup of hot chocolate and chat with us.
“We want to be a lot more personable and build that relationship with the town."
Luke Gidney, managing director at HOP and Horsforth resident, said: “To be able to open a new, bricks and mortar branch – especially after the challenges we all faced in 2020 – is quite the achievement, and Horsforth is the perfect location to do it.
“In recent years Horsforth has become one of the most sought-after suburbs of Leeds and appeals to all types of home buyers.
“Unsurprisingly, Horsforth is full of healthy competition when it comes to the property market, but we’re excited to offer customers a new, proactive and friendly way to sell, buy and rent their homes.
“Even though we invest heavily in technology, social media and our online presence, you can never underestimate the importance of a traditional shop window and we’re really looking forward to growing our presence in Horsforth.”
More in Homes & Gardens: