How is the property market faring in these uncertain times?

Graham Iles

As 2019 draws to a close, H&H Land & Estates reports an interesting year in the Cumbrian rural residential and lettings property market. 

With offices in Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal, Grange-over-Sands, Keswick and Cockermouth, Grahame Iles, Director of Residential Property Sales for the South Lakes, reports on some of the factors that have impacted sales. 

“There is no doubt that BREXIT and a snap election is leading to a lot of would-be property buyers and sellers sitting on the fence.  Many potential sellers that are nervous or cautious about the effects of BREXIT and economic uncertainly have shied away from bringing their property to the market. In the last twelve months, the number of new sellers has fallen by 3.4% across the country and in the last month the number of new listings has dropped by nearly 15% compared to the same time last year.

“Despite parts of the country suffering from a jittery property market, our own view is that those buyers and sellers that are in the market are driven and motivated.  It is the lack of properties coming to the market is fuelling an imbalance between supply and demand.  

“Our experience is that for sensibly priced properties there is usually a buyer waiting.  There is every incentive for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder and of course this has a domino effect.  Some of our recent listings have therefore sold quickly as informed buyers are matched with realistically priced properties.”

In a recent survey by Rightmove, potential buyers gave an interesting insight into the property market:

  • 29% of buyers are buying for the first time.
  • 1 in 5 buyers are buying for the second time.
  • 42% of buyers are buying for the third time or more.
  • The average time a buyer has lived in their current home is 15 years.
  • 25% of buyers have lived in their current home for less than 5 years.
  • 9% of buyers are buying a home they don’t plan to live in.

In terms of average house prices, Cumbria is down slightly by 0.7% on last year for first-time buyers coming in at £119,200, and down 0.4% for second steppers (moving up to 3 and 4 bed properties) at £193,000.

Across the board, where H&H Land & Estates has offices, there has been very little change in average house prices over the last 12 months, except for Grange-over-Sands, which has seen a healthy 8% average price rise to £258,033, however average house prices are still at a similar level here to where they were in 2007.  Keswick has also an even higher increase of 11% to £330,715 average house price.   Kendal remained much the same as the previous year at £216,711, as well as Penrith at £199,111 and Cockermouth at £230,685.

It is interesting to see a spike of interest in Grange-over-Sands, which is well deserved being a picturesque town in a glorious coastal location.  Keswick has also seen a continued interest, being a sought after and popular town for those looking for permanent homes or second homes in one of the most beautiful part of the country.

Looking ahead to the new decade, Graham concluded:

“We are confident as a business that the property sales market will settle down once the effects of the election are over and the issues surrounding BREXIT are settled.  With consumer confidence returning, we will hopefully see more buyers and sellers returning to the market, including those people who have put their moving home plans on hold over the last two or three years.”

Graham Iles, Director of Residential Sales (South Lakes), H&H Land & Estates

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