The housing market in Knutsford and its surrounds is being driven by the pent-up demand that was present even prior to last year’s initial lockdown and has been amplified by changing buyer needs, with a renewed appetite for space, according to Savills.

This was demonstrated in the 42 per cent increase in the number of sales subject to contract across Knutsford from June 2020 to February 2021 compared to the period between June 2019 and February 2020, according to data provider TwentyCi.

The latest research, which is specifically focused on Knutsford and its surrounding area, reveals a 123 per cent increase in new buyer registrations, a 79 per cent increase in agreed sales above £1m across Cheshire East and 67 per cent of people moving from outside of the area. It also shows that stock levels are actually 17 per cent down compared to what they were five years ago.

A renewed appetite for space, mainly as a result of the lockdown, has triggered a revival in country and village locations, particularly from town and city dwellers.

Consequently, there has been a strong recovery in prime transactional activity between £500,000 and £1 million in the south-eastern parts of Knutsford and the villages of Ollerton and Over Peover.

A similar trend was also witnessed in the northern and southern areas of Knutsford, where demand for modern family homes led to a rise in transactions in Mereheath Park, Briar Close, Hollingford Place and further afield in the village of High Legh.

Jamie Carter, head of residential sales at Savills in Knutsford, said: "The exceptional performance of the North West’s housing market since June 2020 has been echoed across the southern suburbs of Manchester and the towns and villages of Cheshire, including Knutsford, Hale, Bowdon and Hale Barns which remain popular choices for relocation, with two-thirds of people moving from outside the local area over the last three years, according to Experian.

"As we look forward, we are encouraged by a build-up of new buyer registrations, with our office reporting a 123 per cent rise during January and February compared to the same months in 2020.

"Yet, there are currently 12 per cent fewer properties available to buy across Knutsford, Hale, Bowdon and Hale Barns compared to last year, according to property portal

"With demand far exceeding supply the market conditions are very good for those thinking about moving."

Despite the lack of supply, price growth has remained relatively modest, with prime values across Cheshire showing annual growth of 3.1 per cent in the first three months of 2021, according to our own index.

With Savills sales across the local area achieving an average of 100% of the final asking price last year, it will remain a balanced market.

That said, supply constraints are expected to lift prices in desirable hotspots, with good quality and appropriately priced properties continuing to receive competitive bids and interest.

Demand for exceptional properties on the most sought-after streets remains strong where, following a near record-equalling 108 transactions during the 12 months ending December 2019, the Knutsford, Hale, Bowdon and Hale Barns million pound market picked up where it left off post-lockdown from June 2020.

The Legh Road conservation area, which accounts for the majority of Knutsford’s million pound activity, saw seven top-end sales.

These took place on Legh Road, Parkfield Road and Goughs Lane and included four above £2 million, one of which, at £3.45 million, was the third highest ever sale in Knutsford.

In the surrounding area, there have been four transactions in the village of Mere towards the north of Knutsford since the end of 2019. Elsewhere, the villages of Lower Peover and Plumley recorded their first top-end sales in three years.

Looking further ahead, Jamie concludes: "The wider tax environment and any longer-term implications of Brexit are likely to dictate price movements as they could impact the spending power of those looking to buy in the prime markets.

"The markets in Knutsford, Hale, Bowdon and Hale Barns will continue to be driven by the key fundamentals of quality of life, good schools, transport connections to London and economic growth emanating from Manchester.

"There is a healthy pool of motivated buyers, including those from London, looking for well-maintained and high-quality properties.

"But prices will have to be set appropriately to stimulate demand and progress sales."