Demand for houses in Hertfordshire currently exceeds that of flats by a significant margin, and COVID-19 is credited with fuelling this desire for larger homes and increased outside space among buyers.

In an analysis of buyer demand, house selling weather forecast site PropCast found that over 75 per cent of houses currently for sale in Herts are either under offer or sold subject to contract, compared to 50 per cent of flats.

Business has been booming county-wide during the pandemic, with a 61 per cent increase in buyer demand recorded in St Albans' AL2 postcode in the year to May 2021, with the same percentage of homes for sale either under offer or sold subject to contract.

AL4 recorded the highest proportion of homes under offer in St Albans at 74 per cent and the second biggest increase in demand (48 per cent), followed by AL3 (37 per cent increase and 67 per cent under offer) and AL1 (31 per cent/59 per cent).

In Harpenden there was a 38 per cent increase, with 66 per cent of homes under offer.

It was a similar story in Stevenage, with 82 per cent under offer in SG2 (a 58 per cent increase) and 69 per cent in SG1 (up 35 per cent).

In Hatfield's AL10, 74 per cent of homes were under offer, an increase of 54 per cent.

AL8 was the best-performing Welwyn Garden City postcode with 72 per cent of homes under offer (a 31 per cent rise), compared with 67 per cent in AL7 (an increase of 24 per cent).

Antony Crovella, sales and marketing director of Meyer Homes, the developer behind St Albans' Gabriel Square, agreed that COVID-19 had done nothing to deter buyers.

“We never expected to see our townhouses sell so well during a global pandemic," he said. "As they tick all the boxes of the post-COVID family buyer however, we soon realised we couldn’t bring them to market quick enough. We actually had to release some of our rental properties to cater to demand and four of those sold to our tenants!

"People’s priorities have changed over the last year," he added. "They want somewhere they can really enjoy being at home with friends and family given they’ve spent so much time cooped up on their own at home since March 2020.

"The need for quick access into London isn’t necessarily at the top of a buyer’s wish list anymore because many are continuing to work from home."

Meyer Homes believes developers need to adapt their future plans accordingly, Antony added: "If developers are to submit planning for flats, then they need to make sure they are offering suitable outdoor space whether that’s a communal roof terrace/gardens, or suitably sized balconies and terraces.”

Gavin Brazg, founder of PropCast said: “Over the last year, we can see buyer demand has grown to record high levels across Hertfordshire, and we don’t expect these elevated levels of buyer demand to peter out anytime soon.

"However, it’s clear to see that if you’re trying to sell a flat at the moment with minimal to no outdoor space, it is going to be harder to find a buyer quickly.

"The best way to strengthen your position is to price conservatively from the start and choose a local, trusted estate agent who truly knows the market and how best to position your home within it.”

Visit The Advisory for more information on how to sell your home fast.