HUDDERSFIELD is set for an invasion.
The town looks ready to be taken over by a whole generation of young professionals seeking city style living in the town's many converted mills.
At least, that's the hope of developers currently converting many of the cavernous buildings into more than 600 luxury flats.
The properties will eventually go on the market alongside about 300 other flats created over the past three years.
Having stood silent for years, behemoths such as Priestroyd Mill in Firth Street, Wellington Mills at Lindley and Titanic Mills in Linthwaite are being transformed into huge blocks of flats, with well more than 100 in each.
Only last week, the Hepworth garage company submitted a planning application for more than 100 flats on its site in Queen Street South.
And there are others already under way at Marsh and Almondbury.
Estate agents Knight Frank believe Priestroyd Mill to be UK's the fastest-selling development. The pace of sales was unprecedented, even when compared to the Leeds and Manchester markets at their height.
Honley firm Lanson Developments helped kick-start the vogue for Victorian conversions in Huddersfield with its redevelopment of properties in John William Street two years ago.
The Lighthouse at Marsh then followed.
In Brighouse, Mill Royd Mill along Huddersfield Road faces a new lease of life as 134 flats.
Alex McNeil, a partner at Bramley's estate agents, said most of the flats were being snapped up by the lucrative buy-to-let market.
"They are buying these as investments to then rent out," he explained.
"The stock market has been so poor and people have had lot of confidence in property."
Mr McNeil said most buyers of the Lighthouse had been this type of investor.
"You then get 29 flats coming on the market all in one go. There probably aren't 29 tenants willing to pay £600 a month.
"In order to sustain the market there need to be more owner occupiers."
Once hundreds more flats come on the market, there would be an inevitable impact on the price, said Mr McNeil.
Now, the flats commonly range from between £60,000 and £200,000.
"There's a lot in the pipeline and that has got to have an effect on the value," he added.
Developers are increasingly looking at the market for professional young couples seeking city-style living, easy home maintenance and luxury add-ons such as gyms, jacuzzis and restaurants alongside attractive communal areas.
Huddersfield can undercut Leeds and Manchester while effectively marketing itself as a suburb of both. McNeil said: "The pull of Huddersfield is really the M62 and rail links to Manchester and Leeds."
But he said the town could not yet compete in the city living stakes. "The people who are buying flats in Manchester and Leeds are buying into a lifestyle. Huddersfield almost shuts down at 11pm."
He expected that as more single people looked for properties and elderly residents were more willing to live in flats, those buyers would bolster the market.
Related stories and messageboards