The area between Leeds, York and Harrogate is home to some of the UK’s richest people, including many ex-Londoners.

Yorkshire’s “golden triangle” was hit hard by the global economic downturn, but for signs that the area is coming back to life, look to the car market as well as the property market.

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to open a dealership in Leeds, its first in the region, to cater for the wealthy concentrated in the area between the city, York and Harrogate. This triangle is home to some of the UK’s richest people and there are now enough of them to justify the investment, says Trevor Finn, chief executive of Pendragon, which will operate the store.

“There is demand for super-luxury motor vehicles in this part of the country,” says James Crichton, regional director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Europe. Bentley already has a showroom in Leeds.

There is also demand for high-end property in the triangle, particularly in the smart market towns of Wetherby and Tadcaster, as well as busy villages such as Weeton, Poppleton and Hammerton. The area has been popular for years among professionals working in Leeds thanks to the fact that much of it is less than 30 minutes by train from the city centre. It is a commute that will become more comfortable with the electrification of the lines due to take place over the next few years.

York is less than two hours from London, with Leeds two hours and 15 minutes. Early Monday morning trains are packed with those who have held on to jobs in London for the higher wages while taking advantage of lower house prices in Yorkshire.

The average home in the golden triangle costs £280,000, about two-thirds that of the London average. In the past two years many people who have Yorkshire roots or been educated there and then moved to London are returning to the area, attracted by the value for money it offers and the quality of life, says Jeremy Hopkinson, an estate agent in Harrogate.

What you can buy for . . .

  • £300,000 A three-bedroom Victorian terrace within the city walls of York
  • £1m A four-bedroom barn conversion in Weeton, a commuter village for Leeds
  • £1.5m A newly built, detached home with five bedrooms in Harrogate within walking distance of the town centre