Buying a house on a shoestring is, arguably, impossible these days – and not least in our part of the world.
The average house price in the Harrogate district is £342,590 – 31.5 per cent higher than the North Yorkshire average, and 35.6 per cent higher than the national average. In fact, the price of the average property in Harrogate is 13.4 times the average salary.
But there are ways to bring down overall costs, and a new report suggests that one way is to buy a newbuild property.
According to the Home Builders’ Federation report, You’ve got the Power, new homes being built in England and Wales are considerably more energy-efficient than their predecessors, saving owners hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills.
According to Energy Performance Certificate data, more than eight out of 10 newbuilds have the top A or B rating for energy efficiency compared to just 2.2 per cent of existing properties.
Government data shows that as a result, new homes are using on average 103kWh/m2 worth of energy compared with an average of 294kWh/M2 for existing homes.
This means that newbuild homeowners will spend on average £443.30 a year (£276 heating / £108 hot water / £60 lighting) – well under half of the £1,072 the owner of an older home can expect to spend – saving, on average, £52 a month, or £629 a year.
There has, of course, been a well-publicised and much-criticised shortage of new homes, but thankfully, the dearth of new properties is finally being relieved – albeit gradually.
In the Harrogate district, there are plans to build 16,500 new homes before 2035, and new schemes are popping up at sites across the region.
In Killinghall, housing association Accent recently unveiled 31 new homes, which it has built in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council and Miller Homes.
The properties are bound by a Section 106 Agreement, which ensures that a percentage of any new homes built within the borough (currently 40 per cent) remains affordable to the local community
Accent has invested £2.5m into the new homes, which were launched at an event attended by Harrogate Mayor Coun Anne Jones. The next phase of 10 homes is due to be completed in November.
In Tadcaster, local developer Kyme Homes Ltd has built an exclusive development of two pairs of semi-detached houses at Garnet Lane, half a mile from the town centre.
The three-bedroom properties will each have a ground-floor entrance hall with living room at the front and an open-plan kitchen-cum-dining room at the back and patio doors to the back garden. There will be parking for two vehicles at the front of the property and an enclosed garden to the rear.
Finally, on Kirkgate, in the heart of Knaresborough’s conservation area, there is a pair of brand-new three-bedroom homes with parking and roof terraces.
The houses, which are due for completion in early 2018, will have private parking with a stone-paved courtyard. Access from the rear is via Finkle Street and shared with the houses and newbuild apartments. Reservations are subject to a payment of a £1,000 reservation fee.