House sales in East Cambridgeshire sees 107 per cent rise during pandemic, figures reveal

Ed Meyer, residential team leader at Savills Cambridge, said the estate agent remains cautious on pr

Ed Meyer, residential team leader at Savills Cambridge, said the estate agent remains cautious on price expectations due to the uncertain economic state as the furlough scheme comes to an end. Picture: SUPPLIED/SAVILLS - Credit: Archant

The number of houses sold in East Cambridgeshire during the four weeks to mid-August rose by 107 per cent compared to the same time last year, more than any other district across the county.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, in East Cambridgeshire, there were 240 agreed house sales in the four weeks up to August 16 of this year, compared to 116 the same time last year, according to figures from estate agents Savills.

The next highest increase in sales was Huntingdonshire with 69 per cent, followed by Fenland with 46 per cent, South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge.

Ed Meyer, residential team leader at Savills Cambridge, said: “Since the housing market reopened and despite the uncertain economic backdrop, we have seen a surge in the number of sales being agreed.

“The prime regional and country house markets in particular have been especially busy.

“Many predicted that the immediate shift in priorities seen in April was just a response to lockdown, and would be short-lived, but there now appears longer term commitment from buyers.”

A survey by Savills carried out in August revealed 62 per cent of respondents thought the amount of garden or outside space was more important when deciding to move into a property, up from 49 per cent in April.

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The survey also found a preference for home working, with 56 per cent saying they are more inclined to work from home more regularly.

Across Cambridgeshire, there were 1,960 agreed house sales in the four weeks to August 16 this year – a rise of 51 per cent compared to 2019.

Mr Meyer said there has been a high demand for rural properties not far away from towns or cities, but remains cautious on whether sales will continue to grow.

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He said: “Numbers of agreed sales have been boosted by activity in surrounding villages within areas such as East Cambridgeshire, with particularly strong demand from those who want the benefit of countryside living within striking distance of a bigger town or city.

“Although we have seen some level of competitive bidding, buyers are keeping their feet on the ground when it comes to what they’re willing to pay.

“The uncertain economic backdrop and the finishing of the furlough scheme at the end of October means short term price expectations remain cautious.

“Keeping buyer and seller expectations on pricing aligned will be key to maintaining the summer momentum through the autumn and beyond.”