Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Property in Ilkley
Situated partly on the south bank of the River Wharfe in Wharfedale, one of the Yorkshire Dales, the spa town of Ilkley offers much more than just stunning countryside. Its Victorian architecture, bustling town centre and impressive local schools make it a popular choice for people looking to enjoy an outdoor life within easy reach of cities such as Bradford and Leeds. No doubt these were all factors in the Sunday Times’ decision to name the town The Best Place to Live 2022.
Living in Ilkley
Perhaps best known these days as a tourist destination and subject of the folk song On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at, Ilkley’s heritage goes back much further, with historians believing there’s been a settlement on the site since the Bronze Age. Today, the charming town is packed to the brim with culture, history and attractions.
Ilkley Moor, with its famous Cow and Calf rocks, attracts walkers and cyclists worldwide, including professional athletes contending in the annual Tour de Yorkshire cycling race. For a more relaxing experience, Ilkley Lido offers indoor and open-air swimming, tennis courts and a picnic area in one of only four lidos in the whole of Yorkshire.
Back in Ilkley town centre and you certainly won’t be short of things to do. The recently restored Victorian Arcade offers a pleasant indoor shopping experience. In contrast, the Victorian parades of the Grove and Brook Street have a selection of speciality shops, offering everything from fine wine and designer clothes to food and art. Independent boutiques sit alongside high street staples, and big chain supermarkets compete with local butchers and fishmongers to ensure residents have all the amenities they need. There’s also a Real Food Market on the first Sunday of each month, bringing a host of local and artisan produce.
After all that food, it might be time to stop by one of the town’s three breweries for a tour or a tasting. Ilkley Brewery and Wharfedale Brewery have been part of the town’s makeup for hundreds of years, while Bini Brew Co is a more recent arrival, offering modern craft beer.
Other attractions in the town include the Manor House, a Grade 1 listed building on the site of a Roman fort. The earliest parts of the house date back to the mid-14th century, making it one of the oldest surviving buildings in West Yorkshire. It now hosts regular events, including family fun days, exhibitions and coffee mornings, and offers a series of walks and trails. Future plans include the creation of a heritage, learning, creative and leisure quarter for the town, centred on the Manor House.
Theatre lovers will enjoy the King’s Hall and Winter Garden in the centre of town. The Hall boasts a traditional theatre and, together with the adjacent glass-roofed spa Winter Garden, it hosts a wide range of events, from professional productions to concerts, talks and local amateur dramatics. It is also one of the key venues for the Summer Festival held in August every year.
In fact, the town has a varied calendar of events taking place throughout the year. This includes The Ilkley Literary Festival, the largest and oldest literary festival in the North of England; and a complementary medicine festival currently held twice a year.
Average property prices in Ilkley
With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that homes in Ilkley are in high demand, with the average house price coming in at just under £500,000. According to Rightmove, the majority of sales in the town during the past year were flats, selling for an average price of £283,019. Terraced properties sold for an average of £460,233, with detached properties fetching £896,948.
Overall, sold prices in Ilkley over the past year were 4% up on the previous year and 15% up on the 2017 peak of £434,958.
Schools around Ilkley
Ilkley boasts a number of Ofsted Outstanding rated schools at all levels. This includes All Saints Pre-School and Ben Rhydding Pre-School Playgroup; All Saints CofE and Ashlands Primary Schools; and Ilkley Grammar School, which teaches students from the ages of 11 to 18.
As well as being a charming and active town in its own right, Ilkley is also situated in a prime position between the cities of Leeds and Bradford. Both are around half an hour away by train, with services roughly every half an hour. Buses are also an option if you’re visiting local towns, with Ilkley bus station running services to Keighley, Leeds, Leeds Bradford Airport, Skipton, Grassington, Malham and Otley. Ilkley is situated on the A65 and well connected by road. Leeds is around a 50-minute drive away, while Bradford and Harrogate are 40 minutes away.
Considerations when buying in Ilkley
With property in high demand in Ilkley, this continues to be a fast-moving market, so it’s essential to be aware of potential issues before you fall in love with a possible new home. For example, with so much of the town having historical significance, a large conservation area is in place. If you buy a house here, you may be subject to more planning controls and have to abide by any regulations regarding how your home and garden should look and the level of maintenance required.
As the River Wharfe runs through the town, some areas are also designated as high flood risk, so an environmental search will be necessary.
Ilkley also has many Victorian properties, which have been remodelled, extended and renovated over their lifetime. This being the case, it’s essential that you choose a surveyor who understands the local housing stock when buying a home in the town.
Novello in Ilkley
Novello’s experienced, professional, RICS-qualified surveyors are ready and waiting to help you secure your dream home in Ilkley. We’ll use our extensive experience in the West Yorkshire property market to help you navigate what can be a tricky area to buy, and with our Private Client Surveying service, we’ll take the stress out of the house-buying process.
With Private Client Surveying, you will get one of the most comprehensive building surveys, and we’ll also ensure you fully understand the survey results and that you have actionable information to inform your next steps. We can provide significant work costing estimates, help with any additional investigations that may be needed, offer renegotiation advice and much more. With this highly personalised, bespoke service, you will get the information you need in good time and with great clarity so that you can proceed confidently and avoid costly mistakes.
Contact us today to learn more about our unique Private Client Surveying service or book a free consultation.