Who these days would bet on world events? Referendums, elections and even interest rate rises have all defied predictions in 2016, so in 2017 it may just be wise to steer clear.
In fact, in you fancy a flutter, you might be safer trotting along to your nearest racecourse and sticking a pin in the racecard. It can actually be a lot of fun, so long as you don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and in this area you won’t have to go too far to find a course.
There are nine racecourses in Yorkshire alone – the highest concentration in the country – and three of them lie within the circulation areas of the Harrogate Advertiser series.
In fact, buying a home near a racecourse may in itself be a sound investment; research by online estate agent Hatched has found that homes near racecourses tend to command a premium of tens of thousands of pounds.
Neighbours of Ripon Racecourse, for example, enjoy average asking prices of £268,978 – considerably more than the latest ONS national average of £219,000.
The study looked at the effect on property values of stadiums for a variety of sports. It found that nationally, homes near golf courses command the highest premium, costing an average of £419,446.
Horseracing is next past the post, thanks to asking prices of neighbouring properties averaging £362,000.
Rugby league was the worst sport for house prices, and the only one to have prices lower than the national average.
Adam Day, managing director at Hatched, said: “Taking the neighbours into consideration is something all buyers tend to do but how many think about the local sports venue?
“The North/South divide runs right through our findings but what is consistent is that homeowners have backed a winner by living next to a racecourse.”
If you’re convinced, you may fancy your chances with one of the following three properties, which are all currently for sale.
Ivy House is one of the nearest to Ripon’s Garden Racecourse. The 17th-century property stands in the heart of Littlethorpe, adjoining open countryside. Its 3,000 square feet of accommodation includes five bedrooms, three bathrooms, three reception rooms, downstairs shower room, utility room, pantry and adjoining workshop. There is also a large loft space, which could be converted into another bedroom.
The property stands in good-sized gardens on three sides and has a large private courtyard, which provides ample off-street parking and leads to a garage / carport.
Just over the A1(M) from Wetherby racecourse – Yorkshire’s only National Hunt track – 10 The Chase is an end townhouse at the head of a cul-de-sac. It has two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and open-plan sitting room and dining area. Outside, it has front and back gardens, off-street parking and a garage in a neighbouring courtyard, behind which is a small allotment-style garden area.
Finally, 11 Station Road has a grandstand view of the racecourse at Thirsk. It has four bedrooms, two reception rooms and cellar, and outside there is a garden, long drive and single detached garage.