Regional Spotlight: Harrogate

28 July 2004
Regional Spotlight: Harrogate

The North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate has been attracting visitors with its waters and picture-postcard views for as long as the famous Betty's Tearoom has been brewing up.

Peter Bean, director of the Harrogate office of Colliers Robert Barry, says that Harrogate and its surroundings is a highly sought-after area, as it is such a nice place to live. And the local licensed property market is "very hot and strong", with robust demand for country freehouse pubs. Hot spots include local villages such as Bishop Monkton and Brearton.

"There's plenty of money in the area, which is good for businesses offering good food," says Bean. "We just don't get enough of them coming on to the market."

But properties that would have gone for £350,000-£400,000 a few years ago would now go for £600,000-£700,000, so potential purchasers need to secure a big deposit.

When it comes to accommodation businesses, anything that comes on to the market, from small B&Bs to upmarket hotels, gets snapped up very quickly. On the positive side for operators, Harrogate has a very good, year-round conference trade. And in recent years, Bean says, a lot of the smaller guesthouse businesses have been bought up by developers and reverted to residential use.

"So the remaining hoteliers must be having a good time of it, I would have thought," he says.

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