“Rumours of a housing market decline are greatly exaggerated – at least in Cumbria“Piers Morton, Manager and Valuer, BPK
If you’ve followed the news in the past three months, you might be forgiven for thinking that the housing market has been in a bit of a tailspin in 2023.
That may be the case in some areas of the country but, thankfully, those doomy whispers don’t reflect what’s been happening here in Cumbria in the same period.
Local market activity in January, February and March paints a much more positive picture. Transaction levels year on year have been stable and new listings coming to the market have been extremely good in February and March.
Better still, there are multiple viewings for most properties with offers in the first few weeks. Any indicators of something negative on the horizon would see these figures dropping below previous years.
Prices have been slightly affected by rising interest rates but, while rates have risen another 0.25% recently, they’re not expected to climb much higher before reaching a level footing.
So, we’re seeing that sellers are still keen to keep moving and, encouragingly, first-time buyers are also returning to the market. All of that together means that sellers have a reasonable chance of a quick sale as long as their property is sensibly priced – and we continue to see some properties selling very quickly indeed.
One area that does remain out of balance however is the lettings market, with an average of ten registered applicants per property. Demand continues to outweigh supply so, although pressure on rents has eased slightly since the peaks of last summer, it has by no means gone away. That’s good news for landlords but not for those looking to rent, who face a tougher task than normal in finding the new house they need.