Regional Spotlight: Lake District
Tuesday 30th November 2004 18:40
The Lake District in Cumbria is a Mecca for tourists and fans of the outdoors, offering rich pickings for operators of hospitality businesses.
But Duncan Young, of the Penrith office of local agent PF&K Commercial, says that the local licensed property market has slowed in recent months, having peaked in late winter and spring and held its own until midsummer.
The recent fall in enquiries from prospective buyers follows a year when fewer licensed and hospitality businesses came on to the market than in previous years, with prices inflated by buyers chasing a reduced number of opportunities.
Keswick is always a hot spot, but Young says that the price of local guesthouses and small hotels has gone "over the top", making them less and less viable as businesses, although he believes that prices have now peaked.
Village pubs in the Lake District area sell for upwards of £300,000, and about £225,000-£275,000 just outside the region.
Leasehold pubs remain the best way of getting a foot on the ladder, but the scarcity of good properties has created a high demand. A leasehold pub outside Penrith marketed by PF&K for £59,000 recently was the subject of a bidding war, pushing it over the asking price.
One sector where the lack of supply has not been an issue is restaurants and coffee shops, with "an unusual number" of such properties coming on to the market this year. Young expects that the market will be even slower next year, although he concedes that "anything that comes on the market in a prime area usually goes quickly".