What life is like living and working on Sunderland's cheapest street
We speak to residents on Sunderland’s cheapest street about life on High Street East.
Property website Zoopla reports that High Street East is the cheapest place to buy residential property in Sunderland
The site’s Zed index analyses the average house prices paid in post codes across the country and it rates High Street East in Sunderland’s East End as the cheapest street on Wearside, with properties changing hands for an average of just £24,000.
In contrast, anyone planning to move into Sunderland’s priciest street, Whitburn Bents Road, will need to have an average of £850,000 burning a hole in their pocket.
Residents speak highly of the community on the street, and say that there are business opportunities, despite the street’s reputation.
Aspiring entrepreneur Robyn is an East End lass born and bred. She grew up in High Street East and still lives nearby.Robyn, 21, opened her business, Robyn Anderson Make-up Studio, in the Eagle Building a little over 18 months ago, and though the covid pandemic has had an impact, she is delighted with how things are going.
"It has been really busy – it has been a lot busier than I thought it would be,” she said.
"I thought at first we would suffer but now the nice weather is here and people are able to get out and about, it has been absolutely fantastic.”
Robyn puts the success of the business down to its location in one of Sunderland’s most impressive buildings and just a short walk from the heart of town.
"The parking here is amazing – we are just close enough to the city centre that people can freely walk in but it is always quiet enough to get parked.
She admits the area has had its problems and has a bit of a reputation – but reckons the neighbourhood is on the up and moving in now could prove a shrewd investment.
Robyn's is not the only business enhancing High Street East, with the chic Boar’s Head hotel now open again after lockdown and the new Eastend Florist proving a draw.
“The Boar’s Head is lovely and the florist has been doing really, really well,” she said.
“There are some nice new houses being built and I think it is really improving.”
"It has had a bit of a reputation around here but it’s really not bad and it is getting much, much better.
"I really think it is moving in the right direction.”
Every decent community needs a pub and landlord David Pulling has been running Cheers in High Street East for ten years and has lived in the East End for longer.
He has seen a lot of changes in that time, and not all for the better, though he still recommends High Street East.
The demolition of the Garths and building of new homes had changed some of the feel of the area: “A lot of people moved away when the Garths were pulled down,” he said.
"You had about 130 families living in the flats who knew each other but then they pulled them down, moved everybody off to the estates and built new houses, with front and back gardens.
"There are more and more strangers moving in but it is still like a village – it is a close-knit community.
"It is a nice place to live.”