A shortage of properties for sale in Keswick and the North Lakes is driving up prices and generating early sales.
Nick Elgey, property sales and marketing consultant with Hackney & Leigh in Keswick, said the key factor about the local housing market at present revolved around demand and supply.
“And there is a significant inbalance because there is such a shortage of properties coming onto the market,” said Mr Elgey, who is based at the estate agent’s office in Bank Street.
He said most sellers put their properties up for sale in September or October last year to capture buyers before the withdrawal of the Covid stamp duty holiday. The idea was to find a buyer and legally complete by April.
He added that the stamp duty holiday was now waning and the issue in Keswick was that there were very few properties for sale and those that come on the market are contested quickly with multiple offers being put in, leading to prices being driven up “substantially.”
Mr Elgey said there was evidence of prices increasing for detached properties with gardens in prime “aspirational” locations in central Keswick, particularly off Ambleside Road, Lonsty, Springs Road and Rogerfield.
He said local people were waiting for them to come on the market and they were competing against “nationals” who can afford to buy them as a second home.
“With hotels reopening, we are seeing enquiries from prospective buyers who are not local and we are also being approached by professional home hunters who are paid to find properties for high network clients,” he added.
He said there had been instances of people buying without physically viewing a property.
They were viewing through video channels or by sending a representative to look at a property.
Mr Elgey cited an instance of two doctors from London who did not view a property but instead sent an independent professional adviser around to compile a full report and create a video.
“When talking about properties worth a third of a million or more, I still want the buyer to physically view it,” he said.
But he said there were still houses in town that did not sell quickly and they were local-occupancy restricted properties which did not appeal to buyers from out of the area.