Encouragingly for Yorkshire, there is a trend of these properties being bought by local people rather than those from outside the region’s boundaries, reflecting well on the area’s business people.
The Manor House, in Linton near Wetherby, dates back to the 17th century but has been carefully maintained and refurbished. It is based in West Yorkshire, which - along with North Yorkshire - dominates the lists of most expensive properties in the county. The East and South parts of the county are some way behind at the top end of the market - but East Yorkshire fares better when the market is examined as a whole, rather than just the summit.
The most expensive property of 2015 on the Land Registry List was fittingly called The Mansion. The eight-bedroom house, in the Huddersfield area, includes a Library with Butler’s Pantry, Flower Room and Games Room on its three floors. It led a top ten on the Land Registry List which includes four properties in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. All the other properties that made it into that top ten were based in West Yorkshire.
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That list, though, does not include properties that are bought off-market and on a confidential basis. Recently, there have been multi-million pound sales of properties that have not been on the open market. In those circumstances, deals can be done discreetly, liaising with private buyers.
There have been some recent multi-million pound deals in the public domain, however. Carter Jonas deal with many of the high-end properties and they were involved in the recent sale of the Manor House.
Simon Wright, a Partner of Carter Jonas, said: “The general consensus is that there’s been a significant increase in sales and activity. Everything points to a good, strong market.
“Inevitably people conclude that we are selling to those looking outside of London or foreign buyers but the reality is that it is almost all to local, successful Yorkshire business people. That’s a healthy message.”
Savills of York are another estate agent who handle high-end properties. Ben Pridden is their Head of Residential, specialising in marketing high-end houses, and he reports that they have just agreed a seven-figure deal for a house. He said: “We’ve waited a long time for activity to increase since the downturn. It has taken a long time. The York market has increased to what we saw in 2007 to 2008. Finally it’s our turn in Yorkshire.”
One property expert, Mark Manning, said that the quality of homes on offer above the £2m-mark in Yorkshire make it an appealing prospect for buyers.
Manning, who is Director of Fine and Country at Manning Stainton, said: “A lot of deals in the north of England beyond £2m involve people who are selling businesses or realising a significant amount of cash to re-invest in their own dwelling.
“The value for money, compared to the south for example, is exceptional. We expect that in 2016 - and beyond that - there will be more money coming up to this part of the world, with people cashing in on money made in London. Leeds could be a spot for investment in 2016.”
Manning would have expected there to have been more properties recorded as being sold on the Land Registry List for high-end prices in Yorkshire during 2015. Figures in that part of the market can be deceptive, though, as the value of some expensive properties do not take into account significant amounts of money being spent on fixtures and fittings.
In the previous year, from January 2014 onwards, the highest figure of money spent on a Yorkshire home, on the Land Registry List, exceeded the £3m-mark. That was £3.35m for a home in Keighley.
In that year, there were six transactions for properties in Yorkshire in excess of £2m and there was more of a geographical spread. Two of the other homes in that list were in the Leeds area, but there were also two in Rotherham and the other was in Hessle, East Yorkshire.
This year could become the most successful recent year on record though. Although there are some potential “bumps in the road” ahead according to Manning - such as changes in the buy-to-let market, interest rates and the possibility of EU exit - the overall forecast remains promising, as the high-priced start to 2016 indicates.
Yorkshire’s top ten expensive homes of 2015 (Land Registry List)
The Mansion, Storthes Hall Road, Huddersfield - £2.97m
The Quillet, Linton Lane, Wetherby - £2.85m
Highfield House, Skipton Road, Ilkley - £2.5m
Kirklands, Rooms Lane, Leeds - £2.01m
17 Bracken Park, Leeds - £1.99m
61 Kent Road, Harrogate - £1.84m
59 Duchy Road, Harrogate - £1.82m
30 Duchy Road, Harrogate - £1.62m
8 Park Avenue, Harrogate - £1.6m
Stonecroft, Manor House Lane, Leeds - £1.6m
Average house price sales in big cities across the county (Land Registry List)
Below is a list of month-by-month average house price sales, for five recent months, starting with July 2015 then going up to November 2015:
North Yorkshire - £177,793, £177,801, £179,922, £181,039, £180,428
East Yorkshire - £132,355, £133,639, £134,489, £136,090, £136,546
West Yorkshire - £113,205, £113,849, £113,598, £114,067, £114,115
South Yorkshire - £106,134, £106,611, £107,234, £107,067, £106,783