WEST FIFE estate agents say the housing market has "gone nuts" since the easing of lockdown at the end of June.

Valuations, viewings, new listings and offers and are all through the roof with sales well above the asking price too.

Appetite in the market seems to have been driven by pent-up demand with new-build sales strong too.

Michael Maloco, senior partner at local solicitors and estate agents maloco + associates, told the Press: “After 15 weeks of almost total lockdown, the property market stepped into the bright, brave new world of Phase 2 of the easing of lockdown on June 29 and, to be frank, and none too technical, the market has gone nuts!

“Not since before the financial crash in 2008 have we seen such levels of activity, be it pre-sale valuations, viewings, new listings or offers and sales.

"We would say it was unprecedented were we not so utterly sick of the word 'unprecedented'!"

The estate agents have revealed that, since their return to the office, they have secured 14 sales in just nine working days, all for above asking price and mostly for above home report valuation.

Their average sale price expressed as a percentage of home report valuation is currently sitting at 106 per cent and the majority of sales have been achieved on properties on the market for less than two weeks, with many selling in under one week.

Mr Maloco, a veteran of 34 years in the West Fife property market, added: "Much of this is due to lockdown having shut down the usual spring market and what is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for agents.

He said there hadn’t been a better time to sell in more than a decade with demand currently swamping supply, especially in the three-bed sector, although the firm sounded a note of caution, saying this may be a relatively short-lived window of opportunity.

"With so much changing so quickly and UK Government economic aid and stimulus packages being announced almost daily, it is impossible to know exactly what lies ahead in terms of economic performance", said Mr Maloco.

“We do not foresee any crash in the property market as some doom-sayers have predicted but we do see the potential for some bumps along the way.”

Chancellor Rushi Sunak’s decision to raise the threshold at which stamp duty becomes payable in England and Northern Ireland to £500,000 and the Scottish Government’s announcement to raise the threshold of our Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) to £250,000, is welcome news to the housing industry.

Morgans in Dunfermline has also reported strong sales in the last few weeks and out of a stock of 60 properties, they have sold almost all of them.

Selling prices have been more than £10,000 over the asking price with an increase of five per cent on average on home valuation reports.

Elaine Kyle, property manager and senior valuer, added: "The last six weeks have been manic!

"The market has been really buoyant and we hope it continues.

"We had been working behind the scenes but since June 29, I have been going out to valuations three times a day with about half of them going to market.

"I think it's down to a lot of people needing a bigger place, maybe working on their property over lockdown and thinking they could put it up for sale and there's also a lot of interest from first-time buyers – so it's a bit of a mixed bag.

"We may see it go down at the end of the year though as people maybe start to lose their jobs."

Morgans have seen a lot of movement with new-builds; as developers are back working at construction sites, sales have picked up, and buyers then need to put their properties on the market.

Appetite for smaller properties is also strong as investors look to purchase for the rental market.

"People don't seem to have been put off by COVID if they were wanting to sell before lockdown," Elaine said.