Hertfordshire house sales up by nearly 30 per cent

Homes available for sale are few and far between at the moment. Picture: Jane Howdle

House sales were up across the county during 2021, with Welwyn Hatfield recording the biggest increase. - Credit: Archant

The number of house sales agreed across Hertfordshire increased by almost 30 per cent last year due to "phenomenal demand". 

According to Savills, sales were up by 28.5 per cent across the county during 2021 compared to 2019. 

Welwyn Hatfield saw the most substantial increase at 38.6 per cent, followed by Broxbourne (37.7 per cent), Dacorum (32.1 per cent), Watford (30.8 per cent) and East Herts (29.7 per cent). 

St Albans was next up (25.8 per cent), followed by North Herts (25.5 per cent), Hertsmere (25 per cent), Stevenage (21.6 per cent) and Three Rivers (15.7 per cent). 

The results were even more dramatic at the top end of the market, with the number of £1m-plus sales up by 65.7 per cent countywide.

The biggest increases were in Broxbourne (177.8 per cent), Hertsmere (110.4 per cent), Welwyn Hatfield and Stevenage (both 100 per cent, though in the case of Stevenage this equated to two transactions in 2021, up from just one in 2019). 

Watford (97.1 per cent) was next, followed by St Albans (73.4 per cent), North Herts (73.1 per cent), Dacorum (54 per cent), East Herts (40.9 per cent) and Three Rivers (22.3 per cent). 

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St Albans recorded the highest number of £1m-plus transactions at 527. 

Nick Ingle, head of residential sales at Savills in Harpenden, described the level of demand over the last 18 months or so as "phenomenal", adding that it had "probably, honestly, taken us all a little by surprise. Every time we thought the market might slow we were proven wrong."

He added: “The lifestyle factors that motivated people to move after the first lockdown – the need for more space, an increase in home working and the desire to be close to the countryside –  continued throughout the year and the market just kept getting busier and busier.

“The traditional hotspots – well-connected towns and villages for example that provide a swift commute into London – have remained popular, but buyers’ focus has also shifted to areas that perhaps weren’t previously on their radar.

“Less travel for work has led to a definite uptick in interest for homes in quieter, more rural locations – albeit relatively close to larger towns and villages with a good selection of pubs, restaurants, boutique retailers and other facilities.”

Nick said the high levels of activity have led to an imbalance between supply and demand, which has created "fierce competition; in many cases properties have been selling within days for more than the guide price". 

Looking ahead, he expects the market to remain strong. “For the time being at least the market remains buoyant and there is a large pool of highly motivated buyers who are ready, willing and able to move,” he said.