Demand for property is rising and the market is calming in Cumbria, according to a local estate agent.

H&H Land and Estates said they’ve had a strong month in April, with many buyers ripe and ready with cash in the bank to buy homes, with particular demand for homes in rural areas of Penrith, Cockermouth and Kendal.

According to the property listing site Rightmove, there has been a significant 2.2 per cent rise in average asking prices across the county, and a steep rise of 6.5 per cent in Carlisle.

But with the recent interest rate hike, buyers are still looking for a bargain, and in certain locations, properties are becoming more price sensitive.

H&H said buyers must be prepared to be ‘realistic’ to attract a ‘serious buyer’.

H&H Land & Estates' head of estate agency, Kate Patrick, said: “There is a continuing shift in popular demand from three-bed semi-detached to four-bed detached houses.

“This has been evident for some time, but the trend is growing, and there is a particularly strong interest in four-bed detached houses with nice gardens and/or in rural locations.

In Cumbria: Kate PatrickKate Patrick (Image: H&H)

“There has been a high demand for the right houses in April in areas already indicated above, with a particular interest in the Eden Valley.

“As always, spring brings a surge in activity, with new properties coming to the market looking their best with flowers in bloom and long hours of daylight showing off interior spaces to their best advantage.”

However, the National Association of Property Buyers said the property market remains ‘very challenging’.

Jonathan Rolande, from the association, said: “This is a modest, restrained hike in prices – lower than previous years and of course, compared to many other essentials such as food, a substantially lower rise.

“The time of year is a factor, longer evenings and better weather usually cause a spike in prices.

“More realistic longer-term interest rates are a factor too as are the increased number of tenants hoping to buy to escape ever-upward rental costs.

“Estate agents and sellers have factored in this ‘hope-value’.

“It’s important to remember that Rightmove’s figures are asking prices, not selling prices.

“What is hoped for by a seller and what is actually achieved can be quite different – market conditions are still very challenging.”

Gemma Dawe, who runs the property-finding service Lake District Relocation, said of the luxury market: “The central Lake District property market remains strong.

“April was a busy month for many estate agents in the area and across the country.

“Currently there is certainly high demand for modernised properties that are finished to a high standard.

In Cumbria: Gemma DaweGemma Dawe (Image: Gemma Dawe)

“Buyers are taking longer to consider properties which makes for a less frantic property market. 

“That said, we are now in a more price-sensitive housing market.

“This is particularly true for homes on the edges of the Lake District national park rather than those which are in the central Lakes. 

“As a property finder, I view many properties for potential buyers and many of these are still being sold away from the open market in prime locations where confidentiality is a key issue.

“Personally, I cannot see this trend changing.”