Commentary from Chris Edmunds, Director of Davidson & Robertson covering Cumbria and Southern Scotland

THERE continues to be strong demand across the Cumbrian rural property sector for rural residential property, smallholdings, and farms, says Chris Edmunds, director at Davidson & Robertson covering Cumbria and Southern Scotland.

Lifestyle buyers have driven the rural residential market with significant interest from across the UK - including those looking to relocate from Southern England and the Midlands. “Buyers are looking for outdoor space with work from home potential. Larger units, bare land and forestry land is also enjoying continued strong interest from investors and expanding farming enterprises,.” says Chris.

“We have a record number of people registered looking to buy within Cumbria and South West Scotland, and whilst this demand has been widely reported, it does continue to be unprecedented. Some are asking ‘when will the bubble burst?’ It remains to be seen if it is short term, but we suspect this level of interest will become the new normal as more people plan to migrate from their urban lifestyle.”

Swaledale Watch near Caldbeck is a small farm within the Lake District National Park consisting of a detached bungalow currently utilised as a B&B with additional 2 bedroom annexe, modern steading, common rights with permanent pasture and mowing land totalling 44.95 ac (18.19 ha).Swaledale Watch was marketed earlier this year with significant interest from both local buyers and further afield from Southern England and the North East. It resulted in an early closing date and the property is under offer. Chris Edmunds said, “It’s not only the interest but it’s the speed of deals been brokered that shows the strength of the current market.”

Three Cumbrian small holdings have all benefitted from significant interest: Hall Close, Caldbeck, Overgate, near Mealsgate and Woodrow Farm, Woodrow have all benefitted from sound interest. Further west a small block of land near Arlecdon has also generated significant interest and went under offer in a matter of weeks.

In Southern Scotland two blocks of land and a farm in Dumfries & Galloway came onto the market and were under offer in around two months. Chris said “The land was sold for forestry planting – which we see as an area of growth for 2021.

Carbon trading is a new market which has driven interest from clients looking to buy land for forestry purposes. They are also taking a view on the value of carbon – values in this field are starting to develop.”

He added: ‘2020 has been a great year for D&R sales in this part of the world.'