Cathedral city cachet commands a 15 per cent premium

PUBLISHED: 15:39 11 June 2015 | UPDATED: 15:39 11 June 2015

Homes in Cathedral cities attract a premium of up to 15 per cent, according to national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide.

Nicholas Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, comments: “These picturesque cities of soaring spires benefit from a long-standing status as commercial centres, the presence of some of the country’s highest achieving schools and a rich history and heritage. As a result of their broad appeal, Cathedral cities have historically held their value better than other parts of the UK during economic downturns and properties in these locations therefore represent a strong investment. Our analysis shows that a significant premium is commanded by the most handsome properties in Cathedral cities.”

Jackson-Stops & Staff have offices in Cathedral cities across the country, including Truro, Norwich, Chichester, Exeter, Chester, Arundel, York, London, Canterbury and Winchester.

Directors in York, Norwich and Chichester agree that the attractive period architecture of Cathedral cities is a huge draw for buyers. In York, Nick Talbot comments that period townhouses prove particularly popular, exceeding guide prices in some cases, while Nigel Steele in Norwich and Mark Astley in Chichester both cite their respective cities’ Georgian architecture as the most coveted property type on the market.

The King’s School in Canterbury, the oldest school in the country, with both day and boarding, attracts many families, according to Dee Ryall, of Jackson-Stops & Staff in Canterbury. Many Cathedrals are partnered with ancient Cathedral choir schools, with Exeter Cathedral School, The Pilgrims’ School in Winchester, Westminster Cathedral School and St Paul’s Cathedral School in London and The Prebendal School in Chichester all offering excellent schooling.

England’s Cathedral cities are also key commuter hotspots, drawing in buyers looking for easy access to both pretty countryside and major cities. Tim Wickins, from Jackson-Stops & Staff, Arundel, comments: “Although not a city, Arundel does have a Catholic Cathedral and benefits from a unique position at the foot of the South Downs National Park, proximity to the coast and good transport links into London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.”

London commuters are also looking North, with Nick Withinshaw, from Jackson-Stops & Staff, Chester, commenting: “We see some buyers who work in London for three days a week and spend Thursday to Sunday in Chester, as London Euston is just two hours away by rail.”

London has both St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral. Harry Buchanan, from Jackson-Stops & Staff, Pimlico, comments: “Pimlico is a short walk from Westminster Cathedral, has experienced an increase in buyer confidence over the past 18 months, growing in popularity as a highly fashionable and sought after area which offers buyers far more for their money than traditional prime locales such as Chelsea and Belgravia.”

In the South West, the premium property areas extend beyond the Cathedral precincts in Truro and Exeter, with a ripple effect spreading out from the hearts of the cities. Nigel Stubbs, Jackson-Stops & Staff Truro, comments: “The bulk of expensive properties are located on Lemon Street and in Kenwyn, and whilst properties here do command a premium, it is the creek side properties just outside of the city which are the most sought after”. In Exeter, the Princesshay area adjacent to the ecclesiastical centre is undergoing regeneration.

Louisa Hooper comments, “The quaint, cobbled streets around the picturesque Cathedral are juxtaposed by the regenerated Princesshay area. Striking contemporary buildings are playing host to a number of new restaurants, whose arrival is heralding the area’s growing identity as a foodie hub.”

View the Jackson-Stops & Staff cathedrals cities guide

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