Savills has hailed a “remarkable recovery” in activity levels since the reopening of the property market in England on May 13th, with a surge in prime buyers looking to leave London for more space.
The agent said agreed sales in the prime markets of England fell by 72% annually in April, but were up 48% compared with last year as of the week ending June 21st.
Activity has reflected predictions of a demand for more outdoor space.
Across the prime London market, 97% of Savills agents reported increased demand for homes with a garden or outdoor space, 82% said there was increased demand for a separate place to work from home, and 71% sought proximity to a local park.
This desire for space has also caused existing owners in central London to look to outer London locations, particularly across the prime west and south west markets, Savills said.
Outside of prime London, 83% Savills agents reported increased demand for village homes and 90% said there was a greater demand for country locations.
All offices reported an uptick in buyers from London, with 32% of new applicants in the country coming from London compared to 21% last year.
However, average values have slipped by 1.1% in the prime residential markets of London and remained flat elsewhere during the second quarter of this year,
Savills predicted that activity would remain buoyant over the next few months across the prime markets.
It said new buyer registrations and viewings respectively are 32% and 25% higher than the average in the 10 weeks pre-lockdown.
Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research for Savills, said: “Market activity has been buoyed by pent up demand, in part at least, but we have been surprised at the extent to which lockdown has made people reassess their housing needs and, more pertinently, act upon it
“This said, buyers appear to be keeping their feet on the ground when it comes to what they will pay, meaning sellers must retain realistic price expectations if this momentum is to be sustained.”