Most expensive market town
Wetherby is now the most expensive market town in Yorkshire - and if Leeds United are promoted house prices could skyrocket.
A league table of the top ten English market towns commanding the highest house price premiums includes only one Yorkshire location.
Wetherby features at number five after researchers from Lloyds Bank revealed that property values there are now 86 per cent higher than the county average.
It significantly outperformed the average price premium for a market town in England, which is 12 per cent.
The average house price in Wetherby is now £347,760, almost double the Yorkshire average of £187,135.
The news comes as no surprise to estate agents in the town, which has long been a Golden Triangle hotspot thanks to a long list of attributes.
Andrew Beadnall, of Beadnall Copley estate agents, has an office in Wetherby and has lived and worked in the area for almost 50 years.
He says: “It is a true market town and it remains as popular as ever. There are numerous reasons why.
“Accessibility is superb. You can be on the A1M, M1 and the M62 very quickly and it’s a half-hour drive to Leeds, Leeds Bradford Airport and York.
“The town centre is very attractive with a market square and independent shops.”
He added: “It also has good schools.”
He adds that although developers have targeted the town, it remains unspoiled.
Downsizers and retirees make a beeline for Wetherby and riverside flats are often top of the wishlist.
Families are also keen to relocate here but many first-time buyers struggle to get on the property ladder.
One-bedroom apartments start from £140,000 and a terraced house from £175,000.
While house prices are at premium they could be pushed higher, and the town and its satellite villages gain even more kudos, if Leeds United manage to play their way back into the Premier League.
Before the club was relegated in 2004, the village of Linton, less than two miles from Wetherby, was the first choice for many top flight footballers looking to buy a home.
It is minutes from the Leeds United’s training ground at Thorp Arch and half an hour from Elland Road.
Andrew said: “The young lads, who were all multi-millionaires, wanted to live close to each other in Linton.
“We helped source houses for them, usually off-market, and values there rocketed.
“Ferraris driven by the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Lee Bowyer and Harry Kewell were a common sight in Wetherby back then. The footballers brought glamour and the effect was phenomenal.
“That would happen again if Leeds United got back into the Premiership and started buying players rather than having them on loan.”
There is talk of moving the training ground to Elland Road but Andrew believes that wouldn’t diminish Wetherby’s appeal.
“Footballers would still want to live in Linton. It’s a short drive to Leeds and offers good quality of life.”
The top ten list of market towns with the highest house price increases over the past year includes Skipton at number two. It saw values rise by 14 per cent from £242,674 to £276,608.
Nine of the ten least expensive market towns are in the North and include Saltburn, average price is £154,112, Goole, £178,979, and Guisborough, £165,179.