Kendal is a fantastic place to live and work, offering the benefits of a stunning Cumbrian location, without the premium prices of some Lakes locations.
Local estate agents – and our mortgage hubs – have reported strong sales in Kendal, so much so that many houses are being snapped up as soon as they come to market. That’s why we wanted to highlight what a great place it is to live.
We take a look at what makes the town known as the ‘gateway to the Lakes’ such a popular choice – and why it could take on a new life as a commuter town.
It’s like the Lakes but better value
The obvious appeal of Kendal is its proximity to the Lakes – but it is much more than a cheaper alternative.
For example properties in Windermere had an overall average price of £413,954 over the last year, whereas in Kendal the average house price was £236,194. *according to Rightmove data correct as of March 11 2021
Lynette Hilton, acting branch manager at The Cumberland, in Kendal, says it’s sometimes overlooked in favour of the tourism hotspots, but it has a lot more going for it.
“I think a lot of people that we talk to have maybe started looking at properties in places like Windermere or Ambleside but then realise that Kendal is a lot more affordable.
“You’ve got the ease of access and quickness of being able to go into the Lakes, but you also have a bit more of the normal day-to-day life.”
Transport links make commuting a possibility
From the heart of Kendal, you’re just 15 minutes from the heart of the Lake District – and just 15 minutes from the M6 too.
The rail links from Kendal also take you into Windermere in no time, and, from Oxenholme, various major cities are easily accessible.
Those living in the cities are realising the value of having green, open spaces to enjoy in their spare time – and working from home means they no longer have to worry about their proximity to their office.
“With working at home now ‘the norm’, we’ve seen an increase in people who want to live in the area, knowing that they can get a direct train to London, Manchester or Glasgow for the odd occasion they need to commute,” says Paige McNaughton, Estate and Lettings Agency Manager at Milne Moser, in Kendal.
People who had moved away for work and university education earlier in their careers are now feeling the call of home.
Not just second homes, but ‘forever homes’
The Lake District is popular with people wanting second homes to spend their holidays in, but in Kendal you are more likely to find people looking for something more permanent.
Paige says: “We’ve seen a lot of young families in smaller houses looking in the area for their ‘forever’ homes, usually somewhere with more open space.
“Kendal is very family-oriented, and we tend to find the demographic of holiday home buyers or those looking to relocate to the area are people who have grown up children looking for a new adventure or those at retirement age looking for a slower pace of life.
“That being said, Kendal is a great place to bring up a family with good schools and easy access to the great outdoors.”
Perfect place for a retirement plan
There’s no denying that Kendal is a great place to retire to. Many people dream of winding down in the Lake District, but houses are invariably much more expensive and harder to come by.
“We do get a lot of enquiries about buy-to-let products, and quite often that is people making their retirement plans,” says Lynette.
“They want to buy somewhere in the area now and let it out until they are ready to retire to the area – it’s their plan of action for when they do want to retire.
“There are many things we can offer for older customers like later life mortgages – we have a higher age limit than other building societies around here.”
At The Cumberland we take a brighter approach to mortgages in retirement. Find out more here.
There is something for everyone
When most people think of Kendal, they think of the large Victorian terraces that overlook the town centre – highly sought-after by both locals and buyers from outside the area.
But there are much more affordable options in the town centre, with lots of old factory buildings now converted into contemporary flats, and on the outskirts there have been a number of classy new developments or projects to bring former council houses up to modern standards.
Paige adds: “In terms of prices, we’re just about average for the UK, and like anywhere, the types of houses available are really varied.
“There are quite a few new developments in and around Kendal, a lot of those are large homes, suiting those second home buyers. There are also some affordable homes aimed at getting local, first time buyers on to the property ladder.”