What is it about Hale and Hale Barns that makes them a property hot spot?

Ashley Road

Ashley Road - Credit: Archant

Want a des res in Hale or Hale Barns? You are not alone. Why is this such a sought-after area?

Lee Mallinson at Barber Barber

Lee Mallinson at Barber Barber - Credit: Archant

What is it about Hale and Hale Barns that makes them a property hot spot?

Housing here is so sought-after that property prices have rocketed over the last few years. No wonder those who already live in this desirable location are reluctant to move.

For decades, the market in this affluent suburb has been underpinned by parents desperately trying to get their children into good schools and undoubtedly places at the likes of Loreto, Ambrose and both Altrincham boys’ and girls’ schools are highly prized.

The area is also known for as one of the locations favoured by premiership footballers and captains of industry and that all adds up to a premium price bracket that many other areas cannot compete with.

Juta Bluer

Juta Bluer - Credit: Archant

But what is it like to live here? For those who have been residents for several years there have undoubtedly been many changes.

Jutta Bluer has lived in Hale for 15 years and opened a clothing alterations and wedding dress shop on the high street. She now runs her business from home.

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‘It has changed a lot,’ she admits. ‘ There are still lots of bars and nice eating places but many of the shops that used to be here have closed down. For me it has lost some of its vibrancy although it’s still quite vibrant in comparison to other places and it’s a very, very good place to live.

‘I seldom drive because I can walk into Altrincham and I can get the train right into Manchester. I have everything I need in Hale.

Hari Martin of Basil and Bea

Hari Martin of Basil and Bea - Credit: Archant

‘People here are sociable and there are a lot of things going on. You can take Spanish and German conversation classes or go dancing so it’s still lively and there’s definitely a younger demographic here now than there used to be’.

It’s the area’s location and demographic that motivated Susan Eyres, owner of the Gateway Art Gallery, to relocate from Macclesfield two-and-a-half years ago. In many ways it has been a good move for her.

‘You’ve got an art gallery that has been established here for 10 years, then there’s us and a new gallery called the Clarendon, as well as two galleries in Altrincham.

‘That means you become a bit of a hub for art. Clarendon is not my market but it’s good that it is opening because Hale becomes a destination for art lovers. That’s the theory.

Susan Eyres of the Gateway Gallery

Susan Eyres of the Gateway Gallery - Credit: Archant

‘There are quite a lot of collectors in the north Cheshire area so you’ve got people in Hale, Altrincham, Bowdon and not very far away, you have Wilmslow and Alderley Edge and that’s why we moved to Hale. It’s easy to get to. I’ve even had people drop in off the motorway to pick something up.

‘There are serious art collectors around here. While some just want a piece for decoration but it is an affluent area so whereas in another location people might go and buy a print, here they buy a piece that is the only one in the world and may even go up in price, although you can never guarantee that.

‘It’s a lovely place for children. You are only five minutes away from Dunham Park, five minutes from Red House Farm, which is where people will go with their children.

‘It’s easy when they get to teenage years as they can use public transport in and out of Manchester.

Taking a moment to relax in Hale

Taking a moment to relax in Hale - Credit: Archant

‘It’s 25 minutes into central Manchester. It’s a really convenient place to be.’

The location is also important to Hari Martin who opened her boutique, Basil and Bea, on Park Road just over a year ago.

‘I live here so it was for ease that I chose to open here and I thought there was a gap in the market for a high-end boutique,’ she explains.

‘It’s good. I love it. It has worked out for me partly because I am a destination store - I‘m slightly off the beaten track. It’s the people who come here who are purchasing instead of just passing by.

‘I think there are some lovely lovely stores in Hale so I just wanted to offer something different. I try to support British brands so I have a brand called Beaumont Organics for example - she’s from Didsbury. King and Tuckfield is also a British designer and Miller Harris is all made in England. I think people are more conscious of where things come from these days.’

When she’s not working in the boutique Hari loves visiting the new restaurants which have been popping up in the area.

‘I like going to Victor’s which is really good,’ she adds.

It’s not just the ladies who are catered for on Hale’s high street, there are plenty of attractions for men including Barber, Barber on Ashley Road.

Lee Mallinson who was working at the salon when we called in said the Hale Barber, Barber is the seventh in the chain which started life in Manchester.

‘The owner has a few friends around here and is a fan of the area. He likes it a lot, so he decided to kill two birds with one stone...spend a bit of time here and have a shop in the area,’ says Lee. He agreed that Hale men are definitely taking more pride in their appearance.

‘Men want to be looked after a lot more than they used to,’ he says.

‘I remember years ago, certainly when I was getting a haircut, most guys just had either a longer hairstyle which you went to a salon for or if you went to a barber shop it was all short. Short on the top, short back and sides and most men got the same thing!

‘They are more sophisticated here and want bespoke styles. Not one style fits all. They want to come somewhere that takes their hair and head into account and creates something that suits them and their lifestyle.’

And the development of the area continues. A £6m plan has been unveiled by go-getting Novo property group. It has designs on creating 22 new homes in Hale that will transform the Brown Street car park. Altrincham-based Novo Property Group and CPUK are partners in the redevelopment of the car park, which is next door to Hale Railway Station.

The council-owned and led project, the first of this kind in the Trafford borough, proposes to transform this location into a mixed site, comprising a modern multi-storey car park, 10 new family homes and a block of twelve affordable apartments.