Cumbria has been bucking the trend in the first few weeks of 2023, after a fast start to the year. And the busiest time is yet to come as confidence returns to the local housing market, says BPK’s Piers Morton in his first blog since joining us in late 2022.
If you read the national news, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the housing market is in a slump at the moment, driven by high inflation, interest rates which shot up last year and the cost of living crisis.
That might be the case elsewhere but that news hasn’t reached Cumbria thankfully. At least, not based on the start to 2023 we’ve seen at our newly-refurbished offices in Carlisle.
If anything, we’re six weeks ahead of where we’d expect to be in any year. Normally, we see an upturn just before or after Easter, depending when it falls in the year. But not this year. 2023 has started fast.
We’ve had a much larger number of valuations to carry out than we would have normally expected, houses are selling as soon as they hit the market and there are a couple of really positive trends we’re seeing too.
Firstly, January and February have seen first-time buyers back in the market for the first time in a while, which almost certainly reflects the fact that lenders are now showing a little more flexibility on mortgages, as the market recovers from the interest rate shock we saw in the last quarter of 2022.
And secondly, we’re seeing the market becoming more local again, after the post-Covid boom in buyers moving into Cumbria from elsewhere in the UK, bringing a touch more stability in pricing after some significant increases.
That’s a good thing in the long term. It stops properties becoming unaffordable to large sections of the local market and it makes it a more vibrant environment for everyone.
Our new board on the wall in our Kingstown office is full of Sold stickers at the moment, which shows the appetite to move is there again. The good news is that we’ve also got plenty of new properties on the board as well – and that’s before the big upturn in people searching the online listings sites from this month onwards.
I don’t want to tempt fate but it’s been a great start to 2023. Let’s hope it continues and we can help lots more people find their next move in the coming weeks and months.
Piers is the Manager and Valuer for BPK Estate Agents in Cumbria. Give him a call on 07808 159986 to see how he can help you or contact the rest of the BPK team on 01228 888999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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