House sales in Watford and surrounding areas have increased following lockdown, new figures have revealed.

Estate agent Savills says people’s lockdown experiences and the recent stamp duty holiday is fuelling the market – and has released figures of agreed house sales in the four weeks to mid-August this year.

The data compares with sales in the same period in 2019 and takes into account activity across all of the main property portals.

It shows that the number of sales in Watford increased by 63 per cent from 2019, with the number having risen from 143 to 233.

Neighbouring Three Rivers also saw a rise in sales, with there having been 234 compared to 122 last year – a rise of 52 per cent.

House sales in Hertsmere also increased, with the number of agreed sales having risen from 130 in 2019 to 231 in 2020.

Graeme Warren, from the residential team at Savills Rickmansworth, said despite an uncertain economic backdrop, recent experiences had encouraged people to reassess their priorities

He said: “Since the housing market reopened 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.

“Those with the financial security to be able to move are acting on their changing priorities, their requirement for more space and, in many cases, a reassessment of their work-life balance.

“The stamp duty holiday is also providing additional impetus, and when combined with the experience of lockdown, is bringing forward purchases that may otherwise have happened in two or more years’ time.”