With its blend of history, shopping, culture and technology York, frequently tops national lifestyle polls.
York is a compact city loved by retirees, students and many in between. While Yorkshire’s vast and varied countryside is on your doorstep, it also lays claim to being Britain’s first ‘gigabit’ city thanks to new superfast broadband.
It’s also been named as the UK’s most beautiful city by the Daily Mail, while The Sunday Times voted it the Best Place to Live in the UK in 2018.
How much will it cost to buy?
For buyers, the current average asking price in York is £300,471. The table, below, shows how many properties have sold in York over the past 12 months, the average sale price and the current average value based on Zoopla's data.
What about renters?
Average asking rents for homes in York currently stand at £888 per month. Renters will need to budget £910 per month for a two-bedroom flat and £1,353 for a four-bedroom house.
Finding an estate agent
Whether you’re buying or renting, you can choose the right agent with our handy AgentFinder tool. It allows you to compare the number of listings and time it takes to sell from local agents. There's a total of 41 sales and letting agents in York listed on Zoopla.
Living in York: What to expect
At its heart, York’s an ancient city that was established by Viking and Roman settlers. It went on to develop around the York Minster, a fine Gothic cathedral built within the city walls. So architecture and heritage are not in short supply.
Residents will benefit from a vibrant calendar of cultural events, including at York Racecourse, and millions of pounds of investment in the city’s buildings and infrastructure.
Although it has no shortage of nightlife for students, being a renowned university city, there are bars, restaurants and clubs to suit all ages.
The suburbs around York are also thriving thanks to the efficient road and rail networks and beyond that, nature lovers will value the wilds of the North York Moors and the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales.
Where to start your property search
Thanks to the number of new-build developments, grand villas and traditional terraces in and around York, there is a lot of different property types to choose from.
At £273,000, the average house price in York is close to the national average. But prices vary according to what part of the city you’re looking to settle in.
Houses within walking distance of the main railway station command a premium and are quickly snapped up by so-called ‘super commuters’ who want regular access to either Edinburgh or London – or Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester.
House-hunters who like period properties should consider the streets around St Mary’s and The Mount, all within easy walking distance of York’s main attractions, parks and shops.
If you want to be away from the tourist scene, check out the area around Bishopthorpe Road, which was crowned High Street of the Year in 2015 thanks to its combination of a traditional butcher, baker, deli and greengrocer alongside bars, restaurants and cafés.
Modern townhouses and apartments, purpose-built and redeveloped around the riverside wharves, provide urban waterside settings with up-to-the-minute styling.
York’s excellent rail connections are creating a ripple effect on house prices in the surrounding village, so it’s worth looking at Elvington and Holgate for the best of both worlds.
What’s for sale?
… for the first-time buyer
It doesn’t get much more convenient than this move-in ready city centre apartment. The first-floor property offers two double bedrooms with one having an en suite bathroom, while extra perks include an allocated parking space, secure entry phone system and beautifully landscaped communal gardens.
Available via Belvoir
…for the family
This stylishly decorated family home sits in the suburb of Acomb to the west of the city centre. You won’t need to spend any money redecorating as it’s been modernised with a crisp white kitchen and an attractive family bathroom. There’s also off-street parking and a lovely garden, so it ticks all the important boxes.
Available via EweMove Sales & Lettings
... for renters
For renters that want to be close the action in the heart of the city, this Victorian terrace is ideal as it’s a short walk to train station and all of York’s historic attractions. The well-kept property comes unfurnished with a modern kitchen, family bathroom and two double bedrooms.
Available via Churchills Estate Agents
... with the biggest discount
Despite having £200,000 knocked off its asking price, this detached home is still above the average asking price for the suburb of Fulford, which stands at £722,880. But with an indoor swimming pool, a roof terrace and a separate one-bedroom annexe on offer, the lofty price tag seems more reasonable.
Available via Preston Baker
The most popular York property currently for sale is…
The property catching everyone’s attention in York is this three-bedroom family home, which seems inconspicuous from the outside. However, inside the property looks like a new build home, with every room having been modernised from top to bottom. There’s also the added bonus of being within easy reach of ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ Ofsted-rated schools.
Available via Reeds Rains
There are 78 schools and colleges within five miles of York, 15 of which have earned Ofsted’s highest 'Outstanding' rating. You can compare school and college performance and find more information on the City of York Council website and the Government website.
Getting around and about York
By rail: York lies about halfway between London and Edinburgh, with fast rail services to both. Trains from York station to Edinburgh take two hours 30 minutes. You can reach London Kings Cross in two hours by rail, Newcastle in an hour and Leeds in 30 minutes.
By car: The A64 Leeds-to-Scarborough road skirts the south of York and also connects the city to the A1M and M1. The A19, mostly dual carriageway, links Doncaster to Middlesbrough and Teesside. The A59 links York to the spa town of Harrogate.
By air: York doesn’t have its own international airport, but Leeds Bradford international airport is only 30 miles away.
By sea: Just 38 miles away, the Hull Ferry Terminal is easy to get to from York. It connects to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.
Things to do in York
There’s no shortage of ways to stay entertained, whatever your age or tastes.
Some of the best-known designer brands and well-loved chain stores and café-bars fill York’s shopping streets. But beyond the mainstream, are more quirky streets such as the Shambles, where you’ll find a range of independent outlets offering old-fashioned service.
York hosts year-round gigs and shows by well-known comedians, jazz, indie and retro bands – as well as productions by touring opera companies. Keep an eye on venues such as York Barbican, the Grand Opera House and city clubs and bars.
York Theatre Royal, which reopened in 2016 following a £6million redevelopment program, is considered one of the UK’s leading producing theatres.
The city’s Museum Art Gallery has been shortlisted for the title of Art Fund Museum of the Year.
Or there’s the Castle Museum with its scenes of city streets and households for glimpses of life in York through the ages, and the Jorvik Viking Centre (York’s name comes from Scandinavian Jorvík) which shows Viking fossils and jewellery.
York Art Gallery’s exhibits include 3,000 pieces of glassware and ceramics, more than 1,000 paintings and 17,000 drawings, watercolours and prints.
The city’s long association with chocolate-making can’t be ignored – the smell often wafts across York and Nestlé even has a Twitter account to locate the best place and time to enjoy it.
York’s Chocolate Story details its connections with confectionary through an interactive tour. Rowntree Park, with its woods, lake and café was left to the city in memory of those who lost their lives in WWI.
The National Railway Museum is also home to some of the most famous steam locomotives in the world, including the Mallard.
Food and drink
York's old winding streets are full of bars and restaurants. Head to Pairings Wine Bar down Castlegate for a selection of fine wines, local ales and cocktails. If fine dining is on your agenda then The Park Restaurant is a firm favourite, while for an award-winning afternoon tea try the Countess of York.
The Reading Café at Rowntree Park has a collection of more than 1,000 books as well as a seasonal menu and free WiFi.
5 reasons to live in York
Beautiful architecture and rich history
The biggest cathedral in Britain
The smell of chocolate