Rightmove has recorded more than £37bn of property sales – the highest ever agreed in a month since it began tracking the housing market more than a decade ago.
And as the ‘mini boom’ accelerates, momentum continues, it noted.
The latest weekly sales figures between 5 August and 12 August were up by 60 per cent compared to the same period last year as buyers replaced their summer holiday with a house move, Rightmove added.
It’s latest monthly property index runs from 12 July to 8 August.
Year-on-year, property sales were up 38 per cent and 20 per cent higher than the previous record set in March 2017.
According to Rightmove, the increase in activity is not only a result of the stamp duty holiday, as sales agreed rose across all sectors of the market.
In the first-time buyer sector sales were up 29 per cent and in the second stepper market there was a 38 per cent increase. At the top of the ladder, there was a 59 per cent rise in sales of larger homes.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside, said: “There have been many changes as a result of the unprecedented pandemic, and these include a rewriting of the previously predictable seasonal rulebook for housing market activity and prices.
“Home movers are both marketing and buying more property than we have recorded in any previous month for over ten years, helping push prices to their highest ever level in seven regions.
“Rather than just a release of existing pent-up demand due to the suspension of the housing market during lockdown, there’s an added layer of additional demand due to people’s changed housing priorities after the experience of lockdown.
“This is also keeping up the momentum of the unexpected mini-boom, which is now going longer and faster,” he added.
New property listings also performed well. The index recorded the highest number of properties coming to market in a month since March 2008 along with unseasonal record highs for new seller asking prices in seven regions.
Prices typically fall at this time of year, as sellers try to tempt buyers distracted by holiday plans, with the national average monthly fall for the last ten years being 1.2 per cent.
There was a still a slight monthly fall of 0.2 per cent, however, as London dragged down the national average with its typical seasonal fall of 2.0 per cent, reversing what would have been have been an unseasonal national rise.
Meanwhile, interest in moving away from cities has driven up asking prices in coastal areas.
Shipside added: “London has 69 per cent more properties coming to market [than the last year], with the South East at 60 per cent and the East at 56 per cent.
“With work and transport patterns potentially changing most around the capital, commuter-belt properties need to have more appeal to prospective buyers than just proximity to a station.
“Many buyers do appear to be satisfying their new needs in these regions, as the number of sales agreed in each is also at a record level. The out-of-city exodus has helped push prices to record levels in Devon and Cornwall, for example, where working from home means a different lifestyle much closer to your new doorstep.”
Samantha Partington is a freelance trade and consumer journalist writing about property and personal finance. Previously she worked worked for the Daily Mail and Property Week. She is the former deputy editor of Mortgage Solutions and editor of Specialist Lending Solutions.
Before becoming a journalist, Samantha worked as a mortgage broker and latterly for a mortgage, bridging and secured loan lender. Samantha is CeMAP qualified. Follow her on Twitter @SamJPartington1.