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Teesdale is there for the taking!

Every so often, we need to reflect on what makes life tick and what, perhaps somewhat ironically, makes us want to come to work.

I have been extremely fortunate to spend my working life in the North East, predominantly in Teesdale, Richmond and the Stokesley areas.  All three areas have access to thriving market towns and the countryside on their doorsteps is outstanding in terms of its natural beauty and what it offers.

When analysing the market and looking at what makes the property market tick, some of the market towns and rural fringes have been well protected from the harsh realities of the market experienced since 2008.  Teesdale experiences a bigger logistical problem than some of the other areas in that it stands geographically further west and relies upon purchasers making a conscious decision to combine a lifestyle choice to live, work and educate their children in a relatively unspoilt area of England.  The Guardian, in an article “Let’s Move to Teesdale and Weardale” (17/01/2014), summarised the rugged beauty of the area balanced against the quality of life it provides both in its commutability, excellence in schooling and pursuit of the outdoor life.

Fortunately, it would appear there are many others who agree with this summary, too.  The 2014 market so far has produced significantly higher levels of activity across our offices than 2013 and the preceding years.  The number of people looking to buy property registered across GSC Grays offices between January and May rose 61%, new instructions to sell increased by 77% and we have seen a 78% increase in the number of offers received.

Performance within the marketplace varies massively and we are seeing significant increases in activity in the market up to £350,000.  Unfortunately, this model does not extend yet into the higher end property market [for properties above £550k] and the so-called ripple effect from the South East would appear to have floundered somewhat.  The squeeze on mortgage lenders has led to a disappointing 5% reduction in first time buyers to 20% (NAEA Housing Market Report, June 2014) and we can only hope that as the market continues to gain in activity as the economy strengthens, people looking to move into more rural areas will open their eyes to what is a most wonderful area in which to live and work.

Chris Arundel, Director Barnard Castle office tel: 01833 637000.

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