At the moment, many Lake District homeowners are stuck in a very difficult situation; many want to move but are unable to find the homes they want or need in order to sell.
I have spoken to many sellers and buyers over the last eighteen months, and I hear their frustrations loud and clear. The demand for homes is high, so the majority of sellers know they will sell quickly, but the truth is most sellers don’t want the pressure and stress of an open market sale at the moment. The reason for this is that the flexibility and time needed to find a new home is far more important to them than having a quick sale.
More and more estate agents are reporting an increase in home valuations with sellers wanting to move and test the water; however, the stalemate is the blockage caused by the lack of property, causing a vicious cycle.
Nothing in the property market changes overnight, so I do expect this to continue into late summer here in The Lakes; however, beyond that, I don’t think anyone can really know what will happen.
I have spoken to many local property professionals who all have varying options on what will happen in the short and long term; some feel that now people are going back to their offices, that homes will come back to the market as those from out of area go back to the city meaning holiday letting may become less profitable. As predicted, in the future there might be more homes coming to the market, as foreign travel becomes easier and we lose some to homes in other countries.
Last year, I heard people say larger homes would likely become more available because of the rule of six, making these homes less profitable and less wanted. To be honest, I disagreed with this at the time, and I disagree with anyone who says the property market is going to change dramatically in the next six months and that prices will drop considerably.
Moving forwards, more and more employees will be working flexibly. It has now been proven that you don’t need to be in an office to do a good job. I sit here from my home office as I type this. Some companies have even seen an improvement in productivity since their staff have been working from home.
I also believe that more and more people consider that life is too short, and for those of us who planned to retire here or live in a more rural area, we have now brought forward our plans. We are retiring earlier to make the most of our healthier years. Getting a work/ life balance right has moved to the forefront of many home movers’ minds who are now spending the money instead of saving. Over the last two years, many have saved huge amounts of money.
For all the reasons above, I disagree with anyone who believes that the property market in the Lakes is going to dramatically change before the end of summer 2022. It’s a bold statement to make, but that is what I firmly believe.
After the summer, I think we will start to see changes triggered by the increase in the cost of living and the negative media surrounding it. It is bound to make the majority of us act with caution. It is also certain that mortgage rates will rise over the coming few years, and then there is the uncertainty surrounding COVID19; all these factors will have an impact on our property market, but to what degree is still unclear at this stage.
One thing for certain is that in the past, the Lake District property bubble has protected home prices in The National Park for many years with minimal impact seen during the recession and with leaving the EU, so we believe that the same will hopefully be said for the property market with the financial and economic changes we will see in the coming years ahead.