New homes snapshot – beautiful natural surroundings underline Cumbria’s house-hunter appeal
England’s most north-westerly county is best known as the home of the Lake District National Park, one of the country’s most beautiful natural assets, attractive not only as a permanent home but also for those looking for a scenic holiday home destination.
Our third-largest county is also one of the least populous, but there is an impressive level of housebuilding underway in a number of its towns and villages to meet the needs of local buyers and perhaps impress those outside looking for a buy-to-let or second home (despite the recent changes in stamp duty on investment property).
The latest figures from the Land Registry, for March 2016, show prices rising in the region and a growth in the number of property transactions taking place. Prices were up 5.4% year-on-year to the end of March this year, the largest annual increase since 2008’s financial crisis.
An average of 657 properties per month were exchanged in the three months to the end of January, up from 602 the year before. Estate agent Adrian Hogarth recently told the North-West Evening Mail: “There was a surge of completions as buyers tried to bear the surcharge. In general, the market is healthy. It always picks up at this time of year. Vendors are getting offers closer to their asking price and properties aren't taking as long to sell.”
There is clearly demand for homes in this part of the world, something reflected in the choice of new properties being built, meeting the needs of buyers looking for urban, semi-rural or rural locations.
New homes for sale in Cumbria:
The government-backed Help to Buy scheme is expected to be a popular choice at Lovell’s The Laureates in Cockermouth, with first-time buyers likely to be interested in the two- and three-bedroom houses for sale, priced from £135,168. A marketing suite is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm at the town on the River Derwent.
Prices start at £104,995 at Parkside, a development on the outskirts of Carlisle where just a few of the 44 properties remain for sale by Lovell. The two- and three- properties are ideal for singles, couples and young families, with good access to the centre of the town and a number of schools within very easy reach.
The scenic North West of England is a magnet for retirees, and McCarthy & Stone is targeting this type of property buyer at Pele Court in Penrith. The one- and two-bedroom apartments aimed at older buyers start at £158,999, offering an excellent private home supported by communal facilities such as a residents’ lounge and landscaped gardens.
Regional housebuilder Cumbrian Homes is building 44 homes at one of its current developments, Carleton Manor Park, taking shape on the eastern fringe of Penrith. These high-specification properties have been given a guide starting price of £250,000 for the apartments and £385,000 for the detached homes.
Help to Buy is an attractive option for buyers through Story Homes, another renowned regional housebuilder with a number of developments on the go in the county. At Edgehill Park in Whitehaven, prices start at £160,950 for the current availability at the site, which will accommodate a selection of two-, three- and four-bedroom properties with a mix of brick, render and red sandstone finishes.
Cairns Chase in Stainburn, on the outskirts of Workington, offers more homes of a similar size from the same company, again with a mix of types and styles on offer. A four-bedroom ‘Warwick’ show home is available to view to see the quality first-hand. Prices currently start at £217,950.
Buyers with an eye for a cutting-edge eco-home might consider Viver Green, a distinctive development from eggHomes located within a few minutes of Oxenholme and Kendal stations. With close to zero-cost energy, these luxurious properties start from £445,950.