House sales see boost despite two months of coronavirus damage
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House sales in rural areas across Suffolk and north Essex have seen an unexpected boost following the coronavirus lockdown.
Despite the housing market having shut down for several weeks during 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, property website Rightmove have identified a number of locations in the region which have seen a huge rise in sales.
Kirby Cross in Essex and Woodbridge in Suffolk are two areas where the housing markets have benefitted the most.
The Essex village saw an increase of 9% on the number of house sales up to September 6 year on year while the Suffolk town saw an increase of 8%.
John Fenton, Frinton manager at Sheen’s Estate Agents, said that Kirby Cross is appealing for people who are looking to escape big cities, and the coronavirus.
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He said: “Lots of people are now coming out from central areas to more rural parts, even more so because of Covid. All of them want to get to the coast as well. Covid has been a massive driver.
“Over the past two months, in July and August it has been the best two months we’ve ever had.
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“We’ve been here in Frinton for 11 years and July doubled our best month ever and August exceeded July.
“The stamp duty holiday had a big part of it, but I think a lot of people have been locked indoors and I think people also now don’t need to be in the office as regularly and are now moving to locations where they can see themselves retiring.”
The housing market generally is still playing catch-up in terms of sales, with transactions across Britain generally down by 6% in the year to date compared with the same period in 2019, Rightmove said. The pandemic stopped property agents from selling houses after the country was put into lockdown.
Rightmove’s property expert, Miles Shipside, said: “National statistics are drawn from hundreds of local markets, with villages and market towns peppered across the country benefiting most from the post-lockdown boom in activity and a shift in buyers seeking out more serene scenery.
“This is great news for sellers thinking of coming to market in these areas, but it will exacerbate the bottleneck that’s continuing to brew for conveyancers already finding it challenging to handle the surge in deals being done.” already finding it challenging to handle the surge in deals being done.”