The Sunday Times
Wednesday March 20, 2019
Zoopla

With its reputation as the greenest city in Europe, there’s a lot more to ‘the city of steel’ than might at first appear.

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  • A stalwart of the industrial revolution, a kingpin of Britain’s steelworks industry and the birthplace of modern football, Sheffield is a place rich in heritage and full of surprises. Abundant in cultural venues and home to top universities, the city now thrives in digital and creative industries and is a hotbed of emerging talent. 

    Sheffield is a truly liveable city, often underplayed by its modest residents. With an admirable back-catalogue of superstars, there's no denying the strong passion this city evokes. Its musical pedigree is showcased by bands such as The Arctic Monkeys and Pulp, while Olympic champion heptathlete, Dame Jessica Ennis Hill, embodies the city's sporting finesse.

    How much will it cost to buy?

    For buyers, the current average asking price is £201,914. The table, below, shows how many properties have sold in Sheffield over the past 12 months, the average sale price, the current average value based on Zoopla's data and how values have marginally declined.

    Market activity over the last 12 months in Sheffield

    Graph of average house values in Sheffield

    What about renters?

    Average asking rents in Sheffield currently stand at £871 per month. Renters will need to budget around £743 a month for a two-bedroom flat or £1,043 a month for a four-bedroom house.

    Current rental values in Sheffield

    What to expect living in Sheffield

    As the UK’s fifth largest city, Sheffield is a vibrant place to live and ranks highly in annual student polls year after year. The city's creative and digital industries are booming, with growth in 2018 higher than anywhere else in the UK. 

    Sheffield is also seeing the renaissance of its manufacturing past. Last year, aerospace company Boeing opened a manufacturing site in Sheffield and Mclaren Automotive chose the city to locate its second production facility in the UK. As a core city of the Northern Powerhouse proposal, Sheffield's economic future is looking bright.

    Built on green rolling hills and set on 150 miles of waterways (including five rivers) Sheffield's landscape is a major draw in choosing to live there. With its three million trees – that’s around four to every resident – there’s plenty of fresh air and nature. Wildlife is plentiful and diverse, with the River Don recently seeing the return of its beloved otters.

    With a third of the city in the Peak District, Sheffield has cleverly worked on its own rebrand. A farewell to the 'Steel City' - The Outdoor City - was born in 2016, uniting businesses, sports and people to take part in year-round outdoor adventure. The new identity has seen a return on investment by attracting both people and money to the city.

    With promising job prospects and relative affordability, Sheffield offers a balanced quality of life unrivalled by many other cities. Often overshadowed by Manchester, Sheffield benefits from being on the 'right' side of the Pennines -  in both senses of the word - receiving far less rainfall than its north-west counterpart. 

    Sheffield town hall at night

    Where to start your property search

    Starting in the city centre, you’ll find a whole range of new-build apartments as well as some that have been converted from public buildings. After major regeneration, St Pauls Square has become a hotspot. Here you will find luxury apartments that enjoy views over the city and are within walking distance of bars, restaurants and theatres.

    To the west of the city centre, Crookesmoor and Crookes hold wide appeal for home-hunters on a variety of budgets, with the area’s parks – Crookes Valley, Ponderosa and Weston – being particularly suited to families. Crookes is well-liked by students, making it a hive of activity, yet still maintains its charm and popularity amongst a range of other residents. 

    Up-and-coming Walkley offers more affordability than nearby Crookes but is still within close proximity to the city centre. With a blend of Victorian terraces and new developments, the area is local to five primary schools and the Notre Dame High School, all rated ‘Oustanding’ by Ofsted.

    Hillsborough is a reasonably priced suburb benefitting from a range of local shops and amenities. Home to Sheffield Wednesday, the community is brimming with pride and has seen an influx of graduates and young families. Malin Bridge Primary School - rated 'Outstanding' - is a popular choice for education and nearby tram links provide easy access for commuters heading into the city centre.

    The south-west of the city boasts some of the city’s most sought-after areas. The trendy Ecclesall Road offers a 3.6 mile stretch of bustling café and deli culture, crammed alongside independent shops, bars and restaurants. Popular with both students and families, competition for a happening lifestyle means house prices tend to be more expensive here.

    Nether Edge is a thriving suburb with a fayre, festivals and farmers’ market, while Ranmoor – a favourite with Sheffield’s wealthy Victorians and philanthropists – has found more recent favour with young professionals.

    Further south-west, lies Dore, a village with its own train station. Services take just 10 minutes to Sheffield city centre or 43 minutes to Manchester Piccadilly. The village has good schools (Birkdale and Sheffield High) and busy clubs and societies – so it’s ideal for retirees as well as expanding families.  

    What’s for sale

    ... for the first-time buyer?

    Three-bedroom terraced house for £135,000

    Three bed terraced house for sale for £135,000

    This three-bedroom terrace offers a rare opportunity for the first-time buyer to snap up a well-sized property, in a popular location at a reasonable price. What’s the catch? As a previous student-let, the property needs a dose of modernisation, but it's nothing beyond the superficial. Within walking distance from Eccleshall Road, this property is perfect for those seeking a home on the doorstep of a happening area.

    Available via EweMove Sales & Lettings

    …for the family?

    Three-bedroom terrace house for £215,000

    Three bedroom terraced house for sale for £215,000

    With its clean lines, neutral colours and light-filled rooms, this traditional terrace imports simplistic Scandinavian design, making it the perfect cosy space for a young family to thrive. Located in the popular Nether Edge suburb, this area is conveniently located near sought-after local schools, an array of pubs, shops and restaurants and is well-connected to transport links. 

    Available via Hunters

    ... for renters?

    Two-bedroom flat to rent for £995 per month

    Two bedroom flat to rent for £995pcm in Sheffield city centre

    For a slice of the action in the heart of Sheffield, look no further than this deluxe two-bedroom city-centre apartment. Overlooking the Peace Gardens and Sheffield’s gothic town hall, this apartment is a perfect rental from which to experience this compact city. Fully-furnished and available immediately, this is a fantastic opportunity for the aspiring city-dweller. 

    Available via Belvoir

    ... with the biggest discount?

    One-bedroom apartment for sale for £50,000

    One-bedroom apartment for sale for £50,000

    This one-bedroom apartment has seen a 28.6% reduction over the course of a year, since it was first listed for £70,000. In need of some modernisation, this home is a perfect project for a first-time buyer or budding investor. Nature is literally on the doorstep with pleasant views over open fields and there's also the perk of communal gardens. 

    The most popular Sheffield property currently for sale is…

    Five-bedroom detached house for sale for £1,995,000

    Five bedroom property for sale for £1,995,000

    This five-bedroom residence of pure opulence offers not only a fabulous place to call home but also a very enviable lifestyle. With its own leisure suite, inclusive of a swimming pool, hot tub and sauna, together with a games room, bar and gymnasium, this home is the epitome of luxury living and highly suitable for those with a passion for entertaining.

    Available via Blenheim Park Estates

    Getting around and about

    Train: It takes two hours to get to London, St Pancras, from Sheffield and 48 minutes to travel to Manchester. Edinburgh and Cardiff are under four hours away.

    Tram: Sheffield is famous for its Supertram network, linking the city’s big destinations, such as the Meadowhall shopping centre, the universities and Sheffield Arena through a convenient system of mini stations.

    Car: Car journeys to the urban centre can be frustrating at peak times. The city council encourages pedestrians and use of public transport – the city’s tram system is effective and inexpensive. Out of peak hours, the M1 is about 10 minutes’ drive from central Sheffield via Sheffield Parkway.

    Air: The Doncaster Sheffield airport is closest to the city – but Leeds Bradford, East Midlands and Manchester are all within little more than an hour of the city centre.

    Panorama of Sheffield city

    Things to do in Sheffield

    The Great Outdoors: The Peak District National Park is on the doorstep of Sheffield, so walking, hiking, mountain biking and climbing is all on tap. The rebranding of Sheffield as 'The Outdoor City' has led to a surge in clubs and groups dedicated to outdoor community exploration and adventure. Every year The Festival of the Outdoors kicks off the outdoor season hosting a multitude of events and activities.

    Food and drink: Sheffield might have more trees than people but over the last couple of years it’s the bar, restaurant and café scene that has exploded. To start the day, head to Tamper, a New Zealand coffee shop claiming the best brew in the city. With Kiwi inspired bites, such as sweetcorn fritters and mince on toast, this is an excellent brunch and lunch spot.

    For an alternative brunch option visit Forge Bakehouse, a bakery-come-café famous for its award-winning ciabatta.

    The Sheffield culinary scene is steeped in accolades. Newbie restaurant Jöro already holds a Bib Gourmand in the 2019 Michelin Guide and a score of 5 in The Good Food Guide for its forward-thinking small plates. Try out their spectacular twelve-course tasting menu which flaunts their fusion of local, Scandinavian and Japanese cuisine.

    If you are after something more casual but still tasty, order a Neopolitan style pizza at popular Picture House Social. To wash it down, choose from one of their bespoke cocktails or play some ping-pong while sipping one of their many craft beers. Many claim Sheffield to be the birthplace of the UK’s craft ale scene. With over 57 breweries it seems the title might be quite plausible.

    One of the older breweries is the Kelham Island Brewery, situated in the beer garden of the award-winning pub The Fat Cat. Be sure to sample a drink here, whether it be one that’s travelled 20 yards from the garden or one of the six rotating guest ales from around the country.  

    Sport: Sheffield offers unbeatable live events and facilities both to watch and to take part in. The English Institute of Sport (EIS Sheffield) boasts the largest multi-sports centre in the country, while ICE Sheffield has two Olympic ice pads and offers lessons in skating and curling. Both host elite training and competition.

    The city has two top ice hockey teams – the Sheffield Steelers and the Sheffield Steeldogs – and two top-flight football teams at Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. Or get the real deal at Sheffield FC (the oldest association football club in the world) or Hallam FC, who play at the oldest football stadium in the world.

    Theatre and music: World-renowned theatres, such as the Lyceum and the Crucible (which is also the home of the world snooker championship), as well as venues hosting art exhibitions, food, music and floral festivals all contribute to Sheffield’s appeal.

    Shopping: Meadowhall is one of the largest indoor shopping centres in England, but look out for the quirky independent retail experience too – Sheffield has a thriving retro and vintage scene in the smaller streets of the city centre.

    Peak District rolling hills

    Best kept secret in Sheffield

    The industrial museums – including Kelham Island Museum and the Abbeydale Works – which showcase Sheffield’s industrial story from industrialisation right up to today.

    5 reasons to live in Sheffield

    • Unrivalled access to the countryside from the city

    • Sport and culture to watch and take part in

    • Excellent transport connections – local, national and international

    • Top universities

    • Affordable and wide range of housing options

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