Cumbria Lettings Market Going from Strength to Strength

With a network of offices across the whole of Cumbria, H&H Land & Estates is in the forefront of the lettings market, and Residential Lettings Manager, Pauline Carrera-Silva, is perfectly placed to report on the current state of the market and expectations for the year to come.

Overall in Cumbria, the lettings market continues to go from strength to strength with strong demand for all types of rental properties. However, in all areas of the region there is a continuing shortage of properties driving increasing competition amongst would-be tenants, and particularly those seeking traditional 3-bedroom family homes with garage.

In Carlisle r ents have continued to increase and so far this year we have received almost 5,000 Rightmove leads in this one office. In line with current trends, digital marketing has come to the fore and more and more people are both searching for properties and requesting viewings online.  

In Cockermouth, rents continue to hit an all-time high, with Keswick clearly the most popular location regardless of property type, and a peak in our lettings enquiries in August.

Our Penrith office has seen a significant increase in properties becoming available in Appleby and Warcop. Rents for the average property in Penrith itself have increased by a minimum of £75pcm, with demand highest, inevitably, for those elusive 3-bedroom family homes.

In our new High Street offices in Kendal, the shortage of properties has kept demand at the same fevered level as everywhere else in Cumbria.

At first glance, the UK rental market seems to favour landlords strongly. Demand is outstripping supply and competition is leading some tenants to offer well over market rates.

Yet with rising interest rates translating to higher mortgage payments, and the prospect of new legislation on the horizon, many landlords are looking to sell up and avoid the growing risk of tenant arrears caused by the cost-of-living crisis.

Any reduction in an already under-supplied market will further fuel competition among  renters , which is already so intense that according to  recent Rightmove research  commissioned by the BBC, there are 20 requests to view each available property. Although we find we are receiving almost triple this, with 60/70 enquiries per property, which we narrow down to around 10 viewings per property.

A property market in which more people are opting – or forced – to rent rather than buy creates a perfect storm of spiralling price levels. Forecasts for the rental market in 2024 suggest that the lack of new rental stock and persistently higher interest rates will lead to rental growth exceeding wage growth, with rental prices across the UK expected to increase by five per cent during the coming year. 

How accurate the figures turn out to be remains to be seen, but there is very little doubt that the trends point to more landlords pulling out of the market, fewer properties available, more demand and competition, and the inevitable pressure on prices to rise as a consequence.