Published: 06:00, 03 September 2020
| Updated: 17:00, 03 September 2020
The average value of a home in Canterbury has soared 4.01%, about £13,000, in the past three months alone.
This is more than double the average rise across the county since strict lockdown restrictions were lifted at the start of summer.
Estate agents in the city say the housing boom has been fuelled by buyers from London as more people are now able to work from home.
The huge savings available as a result of the stamp duty holiday have also helped unleash the pent-up demand.
Since the start of June, the average value of a home in Canterbury has increased from £339,090 to £352,701, according to property website Zoopla.
Buyers are particularly keen on village and rural properties with large gardens or land, according to Charlie Bainbridge, director of Charles Bainbridge estate agents.
Some families are even pooling their resources “across generations” to buy homes with annexes so older relatives can avoid being isolated in the event of another lockdown.
“We’re seeing high numbers of buyers from in and around London moving to the area and increasing demand further,” said Mr Bainbridge.
“Many are families looking for lifestyle changes. They don’t want to be in London should there be further waves of the pandemic and can now freely work from home too.
“This increase in demand has created some price growth locally, particularly amongst village and rural property with large gardens or land.
“Competitively priced property can attract multiple buyers and we’ve even seen some homes achieve in excess of asking prices.
“Those larger properties with a self-contained annexe facilities have also seen a rise in demand as families pool their resources across generations to avoid older relatives being isolated should there be any repetition of lockdown conditions.”
The next biggest rise in Kent over the past three months is in Sandwich , where prices are up 3.76%.
Ashford has the seen the smallest growth across the county, at just 0.27%.
David Mansfield, who manages the Canterbury branch of Bairstow Eves, says he is not surprised the city tops the table because it has so much to offer.
“It’s just a great place to live and work because of its character and culture as well as employment opportunities,” he says.
“We have the universities and colleges and hospital and a fast train link to London and compared to the capital we are still very good value.
“Canterbury is also surrounded by some beautiful countryside and close to the coast. No disrespect to any other area, but it has a lot going for it.”
Mr Mansfield says interest is still brisk on any new property coming to the market, with both first time buyers and buy to let investors returning.
“We are seeing a lot of interest in every sort of property,” he said.
“People seem to have the bit between their teeth and the extra stamp duty relief is certainly helping.”
Mark Quinn, chief executive of Quinn Estates, says the increase in home-working is having a big impact.
“Canterbury is definitely the go-to place in my eyes,” he said.
“It’s got the best of both worlds being in a beautiful place and for its commuter links and schools. House prices here are the big winner from all of this.
“Let alone Londoners coming, there will also be interest from places like Bromley.
“Someone living there could sell up and buy a house in Canterbury mortgage-free.”
Estate agents in Thanet have also been extremely busy since the government gave them the go-ahead to return to work in mid-May.
Gavin Horton, office manager at Belvoir Thanet estate agents, said: “Lockdown really showed people that they can work from home or at least not need to be in the office every day.
"The market has been incredibly busy since lockdown was lifted and we have noticed a vast increase in the amount of people moving down to the coast from London.”
Prices have risen 1.74% on average across Kent and 1.46% in England since June.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision in July to axe stamp duty until April 2021 will have saved buyers thousands of pounds.
For example, prior to the announcement, they would have paid an additional £5,000 on top of a £300,000 purchase.
This has helped fuel the recovery in property values in recent months. But average prices in Kent are still down 2.55% over the past 12 months - and down 1.39% since March.
In Canterbury, prices are up 2.5% since September 2019.
Figures used in this article were gathered on September 1 from Zoopla .