With the media reporting uncertainty, just what is the local housing market doing in our area?

Over the last few years house prices have been creeping up as the demand for property in The Lake District National Park remains a life goal for many people.
This increase has generally been attributed to the external factors influencing the market, with a low supply and high demand for property.
My personal opinion has always been that the Lake District property market is akin to a little bubble; what happens outside it in the rest of the UK can be very different to what we experience locally. 
Whilst we do see the impact of political and economic factors they seem to be buffered by the bubble.
Being regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of the world the main attractions within the area will always remain, so the demand during the years I have lived and worked here has always remained high. 

Over the last 18 months, prior to lockdown, we had Brexit and political influences causing uncertainty. The impact on the Lakes resulted in less people wanting to move up the housing ladder for fear of being unable to secure a new property as there were less properties available due to the uncertainty of the outcomes to major political decision and the effect this would have on mortgages etc, yet the demand stayed the same in the area. This saw properties with local agencies experiencing an increase in multiple offers and the time between launching a property and agreeing a sale was much shorter. So the house price value in the area increased and the impact here was very positive for sellers but no so great if you were a buyer. This same situation seemed to continue to the end of 2019.

Reflecting on my years as an estate agents the “season” for selling a property has practically disappeared. In the early years there was always a slowing of the market towards the end of Summer and a picking up the following Spring, however the last few years has shown that whilst gardens may look better in summer the demand for properties remains constant even throughout the Winter months. 

The majority of economists reported an increase in confidence and willingness to move from sellers in early 2020. Rightmove reported sales agreed were at 12% up year on year in January 2020 with 152 million visits to their site. They reported a slowing of new properties to the market across the country but this seemed to be picking up only then to be prematurely stopped due to the lock down restrictions imposed upon us by Covid19. 

For the first time in modern history the property market came to a halt. As people spent more and more time at home, the virus changed the way we work and live and most re-evaluated their lives. Life changing decision were made, more and more people are looking to relocate to the country away from the cities hustle and bustle. This is reflected in a recent survey from online mortgage broker Trussle where nearly a quarter of UK adults were now considering relocating in the next couple of years.  If your anything like me then house hunting became a lockdown pastime. Since it has been reported that The Lake District has been named as one of top 10 places people are considering moving to and ranked number four on the list, behind Cornwall, Devon and Yorkshire.

When the property market reopened back in June the bottle neck of paused sales progressed, properties came onto the market and more and more of the estate agents locally reported a change in the requirements of buyers. Most were wanting outside space, office spaces or an extra room with potential for a second income and for land or extra dwelling space.  Almost all local estate agents reported having had bumper sales in July and August.

With the introduction from Rishi Sunak of a stamp duty cut, August reported a 15.6% increase in property sales according to Rightmove. Whilst nobody can predict where we will be next year, at this moment in time buyers are still buying and properties are selling with a view of completing before Christmas here in The Lakes. The stamp duty changes will be effective until 31st of March 2021 making now a great time to start your property search here in The Lake District.

If you have a question or just wish to seek some advice please do get in touch.
Gemma Dawe MNAEA

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