Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington has seen a positive turn in the property market since restrictions on estate agents were lifted in mid-May, giving hope to those concerned about falling property prices during lockdown.

Martin Williamson, a director and head of residential property at the firm has described current instructions as ‘brisk’ and that new instructions are coming in quickly, as buyers are keen to get moving.

Research amongst estate agents in Tees Valley and North Yorkshire, conducted by Latimer Hinks, found that most had experienced more interest in property purchases than they had expected.

Both Nick and Gordon Carver Residential and Robinsons Estate Agents noted that there appears to be pent up demand, with customers waiting for the opportunity to go ahead, and Robin Jessop Estate Agents has identified a ‘rush for rural,’ where people who may now spend more time working from home want to do it in a popular and attractive location.


This follows news that Rightmove experienced its busiest day ever on 27 May, when it had six million visitors, up 18 percent from the same period in 2019. The site also received a record number of people enquiring about available properties via phone and email.

There have also been calls on the government to scrap stamp duty for the over 65s to help them with downsizing, releasing more family homes to the market.

Martin Williamson said: “The work that we did remotely during the lockdown has paid dividends now, as sales that were on hiatus are now moving and able to progress quickly thanks to the majority of the background work being complete.

“It’s understandable that the market will have slumped a little during the lockdown, as no activity could take place, but I think this will be more of a blip than a trend, and we’ll soon see it even itself out.

“The instructions are brisk; they’re coming in quickly as people are keen to get moving now that they are able. Not only have we been well prepared, but those who wish to buy or sell a property have used the lockdown time to get ready and are now striking while the iron’s hot.

“Having seen the volume of instructions coming in, I was unsurprised that our local estate agents have had more interest than they were expecting, and I’m pleased that this appears to be translating into sales, giving the market a well-deserved push.”