‘Lake District House Prices Are Holding Up’ Says Property Expert Gemma Dawe

House prices in the Lake District are holding their value according to a local property expert.

“Despite talk of a national downturn in the housing market most estate agents believe there is no downturn, just negative media representation,” says Gemma Dawe, who runs Lake District Relocation Ltd based in the local area.

“Although it is true that we have come off the top of the curve and have started to see prices drop slightly in our area, overall house prices remain fairly high,” says Gemma, who specialises in finding luxury homes for clients.

Gemma Dawes with Phil Spencer

She says that in the Lake District high-value properties of £1m to £2m, and those in desirable villages, are holding their value.

UK house prices have fallen on a monthly basis for six months in a row, according to Nationwide.

But Gemma says: “The data reported in the media generally has a time lag, and reports on the ground from estate agents all over the country are very positive regarding prices achieved and the speed at which houses sold across the UK in February and March.” 

A drop of anything from eight to 12 percent had been predicted and the move to countryside living, which was sparked by the pandemic, is said by some commentators to have ended.

But Gemma says these predictions don’t take into account “highly unique properties in highly desirable locations.”

“Whilst many commentators report that the rush to buy in the countryside is over, I have to say that at the moment there is still a steady flow of buyers looking to relocate to this beautiful part of the world,” she says.

“This creates demand within the area. When it comes to homes valued at more than £1m and towards £2m, demand is high again. This is causing a slight lack of supply, meaning that many of these homes, when they do come to the market, are selling relatively quickly as long as they are priced correctly.”

Gemma says the Lake District and Dales remain highly sought-after.

“Demand to live here creates this buffer compared to other places in the UK which could be hit hard by a difficult property market,” she says.

But she added: “I am not saying that we will not see a further downturn of the prices in our area, as I believe we will, in time. But at the moment, this is very much not the case.”

Property values will be more protected in desirable villages like Sedbergh, compared with Kendal for example, she says.

“Many lake frontage homes are highly sought-after and the days when you could buy something for under £2m are gone. These homes are now like hens’ teeth and premiums will be paid for them – if you know when and where to find them. And I do.” said Gemma who is the only independent property finder operating solely in the Lake District.

“The right homes in the right places will sell fairly quickly. Those once difficult homes might now start to stick around due to unrealistic prices or issues with location, design or work needed. 

“With high-value homes in The Lakes and Dales, buyers are often cash and sellers usually have little mortgage. It is likely that these special homes in the area will still sell for a reasonable price compared to smaller properties in the same area. 

“I believe at this stage it is fair to say that the market is still strong in both The Lakes and Dales.”

Gemma launched Lake District Relocation Ltd in 2020 after a career working in estate agency in the Lake District. She is the regional executive for professional body Propertymark.