‘We all want to move to the coast’

Thatchers Point, Torquay - an example of the beautiful Torbay scenery

Thatchers Point, Torquay - an example of the beautiful Torbay scenery - Credit: Archant

Inquiries surge for coastal properties after lockdown easy

The housing market in the south west has seen an upsurge in interest since the government eased lockdown, according to estate agents Rightmove.

Wednesday May 27 saw the firm's busiest ever day.

Nationally there were more than six million visits, up 18 per cent on the same Wednesday in May last year.

Reopening the market has released lots of 'pent-up' demand, meaning that many people are now pressing ahead with their plans to move.

Specifically, Rightmove has seen:

• Huge numbers are phoning and emailing estate agents through the website.

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• The busiest day for time spent on its website was Saturday May 23 with more than 47 million minutes spent collectively

• More than a quarter of people, 28 per cent, who were not planning a move before lockdown are now entering the market

• The number of sales being agreed by agents is slowly starting to pick up, but will take time. This figure is 47 per cent down on last year, an improvement on the 90 per cent down when the market paused

• Coastal areas of Cornwall, Devon and Bournemouth are seeing the biggest jump in buyer interest.

Property expert Miles Shipside, one of Rightmove's founding directors, explained that the market has seen a late spring boost as a result of certain restrictions being eased.

He said: 'Usually we record our busiest days of the year in January and February and almost never when there is warm weather, so the combination of pent-up demand being released, new people entering the market and no half-term holidays during lockdown has led to this late spring boost.

'The challenge agents are facing is handling this surge in enquiries, having a process to deliver virtual viewings, and setting up socially distanced and safe physical viewings.

'Areas with beautiful scenery and a potentially quieter life are proving to be popular as home-movers 'priorities start to shift, and outside space becomes more important.

'There are also those considering a move further out now that they've realised they can work out of the office and may be finding they can get a lot more for their money in some of the South West locations.'