I had a very pleasant journey north to Yorkshire from King’s Cross railway station in London last Sunday evening, courtesy of the direct LNER service to my home town of Harrogate.
It gave me plenty of time to reflect on the way on the increasing number of people who want to live in Yorkshire and why my son, living in Battersea, believes that he is on missionary work promoting the merits of our wonderful county to his colleagues in central London and indeed, further afield.
With what seems to be a continual flow of popular TV shows promoting all areas of Yorkshire, no wonder other parts of the UK might at times feel left out. From stalwarts such as Emmerdale and re-runs of Last of the Summer Wine to The Yorkshire Vet, Our Yorkshire Farm, Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax, the list seems endless. Whether light-hearted or serious, there is a recurring theme throughout many of these programmes that illustrates what it is like to be a Yorkshire resident.
Some of us are Yorkshire born and bred, others have moved here at some stage in their lives. However long your affinity and residency in the county, in my experience as an estate agent of a good few years standing, rarely do I see homeowners leaving because they don’t like living in ‘God’s Own County.’
What I do find intriguing is how well-known Yorkshire traits often surface during property transactions. We are often stereotyped as friendly but bloody minded, stubborn and argumentative. And further research of Wikipedia on the culture of Yorkshire, soon reminds us that ‘you can always tell a Yorkshireman, but you can’t tell him much.’
So it is against this background you might wonder how estate agents in Yorkshire ever mange to agree property sales. Buyers and sellers alike can definitely be stubborn at times, I can vouch for that. Argumentative? Yes, you can add that to the mix together with a generous helping of bloody mindedness on occasion as well. As for friendly? Of that there is no doubt and why, in my opinion, estate agents do actually manage to agree their sales.
You might have an entrenched position on price, you might be able to pay more and you might be the type who wants to feel you have won the battle. But a seller in Yorkshire might be equally, dare I say, bloody minded, stubborn or maybe even argumentative, and so there is an impasse. Thankfully, if you add Yorkshire friendliness into the mix, I am pleased to say the outcome for all concerned is rarely negative.
I have previously mentioned in this column how the pandemic has affected the market and latterly, how the stamp duty holiday has created added stress for all those involved in the residential property industry across the country. So why is buying in Yorkshire any different especially if you add blunt, candour and thrifty to the list of traits?
Well, you might want to tell anyone looking to buy here that it’s worth watching one or two, in fact many of the TV programmes I mentioned earlier as they all show why Yorkshire is such a great place to live. And in case you are wondering, no, I have not received any fee from Welcome to Yorkshire for writing this article. But if I had, I would have donated it to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which, ironically is also the subject of an engaging television documentary.
Tim Waring. Head of Residential.