A DUNFERMLINE solicitors and estate agents "feared the worst" when lockdown hit but the property market saw an "explosion" post-June.

maloco + associates have praised the resilience and responsibility of those buying and selling properties throughout the pandemic.

"When we went into lockdown in March, I have to be honest and say I feared the worst from a business standpoint," senior partner Michael Maloco said.

"However, we quickly adapted to working remotely and the team embraced new ways of working, such as carrying out virtual valuations.

"We were able to keep client communication and contact going via the likes of Zoom and government guidance allowed some clients to complete their moves subject to strict adherence to COVID-safe policies."

He continued: "People have shown great resilience and almost universally a wish to carry on with their lives, to do what is best for them and their families but to do so in a responsible manner.

"We issue every seller and every viewer with a COVID-safe protocol on how a viewing must be conducted and our own valuers when entering homes use appropriate PPE etc.

"I am delighted to say that both buyers and sellers have stuck to the rules and that, as a consequence, we’ve had several months of great sales and no scares."

Keiran Newman, senior valuer at the firm, added that once staff were allowed back in the office at the end of June, there was a large rise in interest with the five months since July being the busiest since before the 2007/2008 economic crash.

He explained: "There were many reasons for this, such as pent-up demand, a desire post-lockdown to have more room and an ability to create a home office, a need for an outside space and also to take advantage of the raising of the threshold at which Land and Buildings Transaction Tax – Scotland’s 'Stamp Duty' – became payable."

Following Fife being placed into Tier 4 of the Scottish Government's coronavirus restrictions from Boxing Day, he added house moves and viewings could continue to go ahead provided they were carried out safely.

Mr Newman added: "Travel in connection with moving home and related activities, such as viewing properties, also continues to be permitted and moves and viewings out of area are permitted also.

"However, the Scottish Government continues to advise that those in Tier 4 should consider postponing these activities if possible."