Leeds's neighbouring city is crowned top place to live for new parents

A major nationwide estate agents has revealed Wakefield is top of the list for new parents when it comes to places to live.

By Joanna Wardill
Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:30 pm

Research conducted by Hunters Estate Agents found Leeds’s neighbouring city as best of the best in places to lay down roots with a new family.

The estate agent reviewed English regions by county, postcodes, districts - cities and towns - and local authorities.

It then ranked them on factors including the cost of a home, quality of schools and safety levels in order to help new parents discover the best places to consider when searching for a home.

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A busy shopping street in the centre of Wakefield. Picture: James Hardisty

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It was praised for its affordability - with the average sale price being £172,895 over the last 12 months.

Other factors included its strong public transport links for working parents as well as an average broadband speed of 50 Mbps for those who work from home.

The area, it says, also offers young children a good start to their education with 16 per cent of homes having an Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ school as their nearest primary school.

Wakefield's Theatre Royal. Picture: Simon Hulme

Hunters said the city also boasts attractions including Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the National Coal Mining Museum and Diggerland which all prove hits with young families and with 11 per cent public green space, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

And with 1,482 residents per restaurant in Wakefield, it was also ranked fifth overall for local eateries.

Keira Wiles, head of sales at Hunters Castleford, said: “Our clients, sales and lettings team alike would certainly say that Wakefield is an amazing place to live due to its proximity to local amenities and schools.

“Wakefield city centre itself is a bustling friendly place to be with eateries, cultural hotspots and plenty of entertainment.

The historic Nostell Priory. Picture: James Hardisty

“From a housing perspective in comparison to some of its bigger city neighbours you get plenty of house for your money whilst still maintaining a great lifestyle.

“Whether you’re looking for urban or semi rural living Wakefield has an area to offer you well within a good price range."

Vicki Smith, a local mum and owner of the Wakefield Mumbler parenting website, was also full of praise for the city’s suitability for new parents.

She told the Yorkshire Evening Post she was not surprised it came top of the list.

There are many eateries in Wakefield. Picture: James Hardisty

She said: "Wakefield and its surrounding area are a perfect place to live and bring up your family.

“I moved here 10 years ago, got married and now have two children (6 years and 19 months) and we love exploring the outdoors; adventuring in the woods, cycling along the canals and walking the free story trails, especially the Room on the Broom Trail at Anglers Country Park.

“Wakefield has loads of amazing classes, groups and activities for babies and toddlers - the perfect place to make friends when you’re a new parent.

“We love our music classes with Mini Maestros, swimming with Puddle Ducks, and visiting the library for free events like WordFest.”

In second place on Hunters’ top 10 list was Huddersfield, which had similar access to public transport and Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ primary schools but with a higher average house price, of £181,840.

It also ranked highly for historical sites, with 2,597 listed buildings in the area.

Third, fourth and fifth on the list were all out of Yorkshire, with Dudley, Leicester and Preston respectively.

But Sheffield was placed sixth on the list and was highest for lifestyle and amenities with 96 per cent of homes within 200m of public transport and just 601 residents per restaurant.

Making up the rest of the top 10 were Stalybridge, Brough, Doncaster and Stockport.