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September 2003
Buddy can you spare a home?
A large house
Big means lots of cash in Leeds

It was a perfectly straightforward question on the BBC Leeds messageboard...

"Where's a nice place to live in Leeds for £75,000?"

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BBCi: Property Price Guide

BBC News: Is the house price boom over?

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Join in the £75,000 debate on our messageboard

House prices in Leeds are continuing on their upward trend and it means that whole areas of the city do not have any properties that are on offer for £75,000 or less.

In many parts of north Leeds it would be a fruitless search. In Moortown for instance the average asking price for a semi hovers around £135,000.

It is possible, claims Russell Manning of estate agents Manning Stainton, to find Leeds houses in the £75,000 price bracket.

"It is not as easy as it once was but properties are available, particularly in the south of the city.

"In Beeston, Wortley and Armley a lot of young couples are finding competition from investors buying to let so the turnover of properties is pretty quick."

Price tag
According to Mr Manning a 'popular price-point' across the city is now £149,950 - the housing equivalent of £9.99 on the highstreet price tag.

One side effect of the housing price boom is that the average age of first-time buyers is heading towards 30 years old. Buyers are taking more time to save a suitable deposit or waiting until they are more established at work.

Terraced housing
Terraced housing

It is still possible to spend much less on a house in Leeds than the target amount, although according to the Land Registry records (see below) the current average sale price of terraced houses in Leeds is almost £83,000.

A quick web search of properties available through the Halifax, for instance, finds a house for sale at £30,000 in Beeston.

The one-bedroomed back-to-back terrace in Recreation Mount has 'some scope for improvement'.

Of course the subjective issue of finding a house to buy in a 'nice place' is much harder to answer. After all beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Meanwhile back in north Leeds, Russell Manning has a property on offer at £1.5m in Scarcroft. Any takers?

HM Land registry average prices in Leeds
Apr - June 2003
Detached £216,222 457 (sales)
Semi £116,076 1140
Terraced £82,669 1380
Flat/Maisonette £122,793 409
Average £116,788  

What do you think?
Is there a major divide to living in Leeds? Have you a housing horror to tell?

Andy
You work in Leeds but live in london but I wonder if you are on London wages or Leeds wages???

Dave (aged 25 & 3/4)
Thank god for mum & dad eh'?

Lucy
I have lived in armley since i was born and thought i'd never leave there, as soon as i turned 18 i started looking for somewhere to buy i couldn't afford then so when i was 20 i rented a flat for 6 months, it was great but still £300 a month was a lot. i had to move back home when the lease was up. I am now living in bradford in a lovley shared house,there is a train station at the bottom of my road and it's handy for work and a nice area, i'm now looking in buy a property in Bradford, the one i'm in sold to my boyfriend for £42k it has 4 bedrooms a garden to the back and a small one at the front, the ones on the rest of the street have been going for £80-£90k.i know that if i keep saving and keep looking something will turn up for me. but i think that staying in bradford would benefit me at the moment.

Helen Smith
Prices and locations are one thing are definitly problems in Leeds. However, it would be slightly more palatable if estate agents actually did some work....

Andy
You guys have it soo easy! I work in Leeds during the week and currently rent a house in London with friends. Me and my housemate are looking to buy a flat in london, and for a 2 bed apartment will expect to pay around 300k. Apart from the horrendous mortgage repayments, we would have to fork out £9000 in stamp duty alone. What exactly do the government do with this money?? What do I get for flushing my 9k down the toilet? That kind of money represents a good few years savings for most people, and to be thrown away like that is utter madness!

Emily
Is there anywhere that I can find the average prices for each area of Leeds?

Steven Walker
I work in Chapeltown in Leeds, but there is no way I could afford to live in Leeds City centre, so I have bought in Altofts, which is near Wakefield. The train takes about 20 mins to get to the city centre, I am within 10 mins from Wakefield for shops, and there are loads of other commuters in the morning doing the same thing. Buy outside Leeds, commute in, and enjoy the best of both worlds. ps my house cost 70k this time last year.

David
Why don't you try looking for private sales on the internet, they tend to be cheaper because the seller is saving thousands in agents fees. There are a number of these private property sales websites popping up. People are fed up of being ripped of by agents, they are half to blame for the increased cost in housing. I also agree with what people are saying about South Leeds, I bought large 2 bedroom newly built flat in Middleton.

CeeBee
There's nothing wrong with renting, I save more renting that I would paying a mortgage on the same house (savings=£150pm). I can move when I like, someone else fixes the plumbing etc and I won't be left high and dry when the house prices become more realistic or interest rates go up. As for getting on the 'property ladder', remember there are property snakes too.

Dee
I grew up in Armley, and am comfortable when taking my kids there to visit their nana. The people I know there are warm hearted, hard working people, and I would live theer like a shot if my husband and I moved back to Leeds. I think anyone buying a house today needs to look seriously at Armley, Hunslet, etc, and as close as possible to the shops!

Ian
I think there are a number of houses which are 'affordable' left in some areas of leeds,(areas such as Armley, Wortley, Holbeck etc). I know and accept prices in other area's seem really supid, and are out of reach to most people including myself. However they are a number of terraces houses in Wortley, Armley, Holbeck which range from 50 -100k depending on their size, which I think are affordable and provide a good opportunity for investment. I bought my house a year ago ( i was 24 then) in wortley for 60k, and its probably worth 100 now. I would of liked to have bought in North Leeds, but I was realistic about what or where I could afford to live. several people told me I was mad buying in Wortley, due to the location. It seems a lot of people on this message board have very unrealistic expectations about what and where they can afford. I enjoy living in Wortley, and love been 5mins, or £4 in a taxi from town, and been near the M621 and good public transport links. The area is fine, and a had far more problems living whilst a student in LS6. I must admit I wish my near door neighbours would move, but as a whole the area is seeing a lot of investment, new build houses, and conseqently young people, families and professions moving in. It seems some areas esp in west Leeds have v undeserved reputations, and in some instances means people, mainly first time buyers are missing out on opportunties to buy starter due to their own prejudices. A lot of areas are improving vastly, which is further pushing up prices, (as I have experienced) these areas still provide opportunities!! to make money and provide a starter home

Brad
The housing prices are ridiculous,it looks like people will nhever be able to move out of their parents! Im nearly 20 and want to buy my own place,but its just not physically possible.5 years ago though,it was possible! Drop prices now!!!!

Kelly
I was lucky. I bought my flat before the house prices rose. I paid £42,000.00 for a small two bedroomed flat in Kirkstall 4 years ago which is now worth £100,000.00. The only problem now is that I now have a two year old daughter and no garden. It's impossible to find a nice house in a nice area for under £135,000.00. I feel even sorrier for those who are trying to buy now. Their mortgages are often as much as their income.

TP
It's easy to forget that while it feels nice that your house has increased in value by (say) £50k, the next house up the chain that you might have your eye on will have gone up by £75k so the gap just gets wider...besides, a £50k profit is only worth £50k if you sell-up and get off the ladder...otherwise, it's just a number and might as well be £5k or £500k....

ross davis
I bought a house for £500,000 in 1998 its now worht 950,000, i couldnt believe my luck. I am a lawyer by the way.

Anton
Armley is the place to be! forget all of the tall tales, the streets are clean, it's quiet, crime is low (I haven't seen any in the year i've been there) it's a much nicer and safer place to live than parts of hyde park and headingly plus you can get into town in a flash. All it needs is for a few bars/restaurants and a modernisation of the shopping area. house prices are cheap too!

cathy
Instead of paying buying in Leeds, I decided to buy a 2 bedroom terrace for 9£95K in the World Heritage Village of Saltaire. I do not think these house will fall in value. I am away from all the hussle and bussle and yet can get into the centre of Leeds in 18mins from Saltaire train station.( a 2 min walk!( A really great place to live, but houses tend to be difficult to come by - they sell before the sign has a chance to go up. Keep you eyes open though it's well worth it.

Claude LeRoy
I have just put my first foot on the property ladder. A new townhouse in Robin Hood. A61, just south of Leeds. Previously I rented in Adel. Whist the area in Adel was tree lined and pleasant it took an absolute age to travel anywhere. Here in South Leeds, it is 1 minute to M62 / M1 junction and bus service into Leeds every 10 minutes. With this infracture advantage and new developments and amenities being built south of Leeds this is surely an area where house prices will continue to rise and the stigma or prejudices of people only looking to the north of the city will be blown away by the incredible value and advantages that living in the south offers.

Nyell Driver
I'll buy a house when it all crashes! I'm 23 and I'm going to Rent in the City Centre for maybe a year. When the house prices do fall they'll fall by 30%! That's £39K on a house worth £130K. I could rent for 6 years in locations I can't afford to buy in and live the high life of city centre living. Most parents of the 1950's are beginning to die off, Investors are pulling out of the UK Market fearing a collapse! Don't buy and delay the inevitable?

Jimmy
As a few people have mentioned, it's time people stopped being so snobby and picky, and faced reality. It is possible to get on the housing ladder. Yes, the bottom rung - that's how it works. There are plenty of affordable places in eastern and southern areas of the city, and then you can work your way up to living somewhere like Adel, Horsforth, Guiseley etc.

Martin
I just recently bought a run down property in seacrof with my girlfriend, as we were desperate to get on the ladder. We'd been there just two months when a robber climbed into my kitchen with me srill inside making porridge. I reported it to the police and all they asked me was what direction he went in? tschhh. . . i think it was a little late for a 'deadly pursuit', I think the police have been watching too many cops and robber movies. We have since put the property on the market and we were horrified when we found our for sale sign burnt to a miserable crust by young hoodlums.

daz
I've brought a house in harehills as well no d/g or C/h or decor post 1960 but time and effort do pay off and i can now look to move on. to something better

Sonny
Get on the property ladder and get on it fast. Renting is a mugs game. Once your on the property ladder, set your heights high, keep climbing dont be afraid of falling off! What have you got to loose that you havent already lost renting. If your serious then be serious about applying all your energies into the property search. I spent just less than a week looking around the back to backs in Harehills. I was pleasently surprised. Although I didnt get in the door of some of the properties as they are selling within 1-3 days of going on the market. There are many 2 bedroom B-Bks with large cellars at a price of between 65-75k, I think its worth it, the area is getting better. I found a lovely property needing no work for 71k, it had just gone on the market that day, i made my offer and it was accepted the same day, unbelievable. However I am still going to live in Granada in Spain, what a wonderful country that seems to respect and serve its people, unlike the robbers that call themseves leeds city council as we endure yet another 5% council tax rise. . . . .

pj
18 months ago I bought a flat in north leeds for 110k at the time I couldnt really afford it and I also thought it was well over priced for a one bedder but i bit the bullet and went for it. It is now worth over 150k. Stretch yourself and just go for it

Sonny
If it wasn't for the greedy parasites who insist on buyng house after house to rent for an average of £550 for a 3 bed semi (1 a box room) maybe us residents of the lovely north leeds would be able to get on the property ladder. I'm off to spain in about 5 years...

K Ward
2 years ago my partner and I would have loved to live in the Leeds area as we were both brought up there but unfortunately house prices were just too high for our budget. We decided to move further out and found a lovely 3 bed semi in Pontefract for £56k. After updating the property slightly it is now worth £100k. I would advise anybody to move just that bit further out as there are some lovely villages to live in at 1/2 the price.

Francis Edwards
Perhaps this article should be updated to the £95,000 question. Looks like prices have gone up since it was started and this thread, together with the Leeds messageboard seem to be now arguing about a two tier Leeds, where housing and access to good local services are a defining issue when trying to get onto the housing ladder.

Chris
i think the house prices reflect the areas and environment. some are a bit over-inflated though. for example, a 3 bed semi in oakwood could cost £200,000 or even more. Just round the corner in Gipton, you can get a 3 bed end terrace if you make an offer of between £18,000 and £20,000! It really is a city of 2 halves. Leeds City Council needs to do something to certain areas to bring them upto scratch with current housing conditions.

Nick
Last Summer(2003) the average wage in Yorkshire was less than £14,000 . It probably not much more than that now so many people who were born & brought up in Leeds cannot afford to buy a house in their own city ! Leeds is now 2 cities in one with bedsit land in South Leeds and in the immediate vicinity of the Universities and the ''incomers'' buying up £200,000 + flats in the City Centre

Gwen Morgan
Get real. First rule - buy a house as soon as you can. It is cheaper than renting and you can always sell it or rent it later. It can be an investment but that is not how you should be thinking, it is your home first and foremost. Worried about the area. Learn to adapt and meet different types of people. Orignially a country boy I was initially, honestly, very scared of urban city areas like Leeds, but I wouldn't swop where I live for my friends homes in London which are half the size and four times the cost, and getting from A to B across London is stressful to say the least. Learn to adapt to what you can get or as they say, "Cut your cloth to fit". More real stuff. You will not find a better city than Leeds for such easy access to all the urbane things of life; theatres, cinemas, shops, restaurants etc. If you are a gregarious, bon-viveur or a shopaholic then Leeds is still really good place to live and still much cheaper than other cities. Transport infrastructure is great - buses, major rail links to London and Edinburgh (it is great getting drunk on the train to the Edinburgh Festival!). Finally, there are houses for £75 and fantastic sizes some of them. You should consider Armley - where you can still get a fantastically big back to back terraced house in this bracket. Keep looking and have a walk around off the Tong road area.

Dileep Tharoor
I have been looking for a semi detached for 3 months in Alwoodley and finally when I found one for a reasonable £155,000 the threats of crash is in its highest especially for first time buyers like me. Extremely perplexed.......

Michael Taylor
If your not a snob it's easy. Norman Towers 2 bed flat for £30000, in West Park which is a nice area of the city. Thing is people don't like living in council high rises but for a house in Gipton you pay twice as much, I know which I would rather had. Some areas particularly in the North West of the city just outside fasionable Headingley are suprisingley underpriced, West Park, Cookridge and Horsforth are great places to start. Here the roads are more free flowing and there are more railway stations.

Simon
£75k for a WHOLE HOUSE? I could buy a whole street in Leeds for what I'd pay for a one bed flat in my area of London (which is a run down urban area with high crime, poor schools, and a high crime rate). Quit your moaning - you've not got it half bad!

Emma
Countless Saturdays have been spent woundering around unhelpful estate agents throughout the city on my quest to find a reasonably priced house in north leeds. But as we all seem to agree, what a waste of time and energy. The house's seem to go within an instance, and the agents can sit around being unhelpful as the houses sell themselves, as we all appear to be so desperate! I am a first time buyer with no real hope of ever becoming one before I'm 30, which is a depressing reality, and should not be ignored!

Louise
Maybe people should not be so snobbish as to where they live. I have just bought a property in harehills for 46,000. Having spent years renting overpriced flats in 'nice' areas of Leeds, where i was burgled 3 times i am glad i have chosen to buy, even if the area has a 'bad' reputation. Most people i have met here are decent working people who want the same as anyone else. Can't afford to buy? - don't you have to start at the bottom of the ladder?

abdulfez
Anybody who was burned (as I was) in the meltdown of '87 is having a good laugh at all this inexperienced talk. I would not buy a house in the UK at any price and I suggest you sell now and get out while the getting is good!

Wel Bwadlin
Leeds is a great place to live which is reflected in the house prices. If so many people did not want to live here the prices would be much lower. If you have not got onto the property ladder, it is unfortunate, but for house owners it is a great time to be a loiner.

Paul Featherstone
I have just bought a property in Moortown for less than £75,000, it is an ex-council semi but needs central heating, double glazing, etc. It is possible to find properties in need of such renovation in up and coming areas such as this (Moor Allerton to be precise) but you pay the price for buying late and missing the huge rises seen in the past two years.

Steve
I think the house prices are hugely inflated for the Leeds area, it's not the London of the north, and it really isn't that nice a place to live. That's why I'm looking to move out of Leeds, and buy a less exspensive property in a nicer place.

Francis Edwards
I live in a £135K semi in rural Rothwell, lucky me - or am I? I have to put up with limited bus service after rush hour, missing services during rush hour, have a local shop that is 3/4 mile walk and for everything else require the cost of running a car on top of the bus pass to commute to Leeds. I may have been lucky buying my house at £95K two years ago, but that was only because I split from my wife. The problem of increased housing costs is because only enough houses are being built for couples splitting up and they have equity from there previous house that has gone up in value. Although it is nice for me to have a house with garden for my kids at weekends, it doesn't make up for the 'care free' rented lifestyle of living in Leeds with the benefits of local services and facilities. The motto is enjoy what you have or be very thrifty to afford a house. Buying a house is only part of the cost of running a house. ps Even buying my house at £95K, to run my household and service mortgage costs about £1000 per month in total (including mundane things like being responsible for fixing fences in garden, etc). Compared to what you are paying now for where you live - Is it worth it to have a garden? pps my 100 year old first house, which although was cheaper, cost as much to run because of damp, worn out and broken fittings, etc.

Sarah King
I live in a rented flat and I despair of ever being able to get on the housing ladder in Leeds...

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