By Ian McConnell

SCOTTISH law firm and estate agent Lindsays has revealed its home sales in the year to March exceeded those in the prior 12 months, even though there was a near-three-month “wipeout” of house-moving activity amid the first coronavirus-related lockdown.

It flagged major differences between the Covid crisis and previous periods of uncertainty in terms of the effect on the housing market. Lindsays said the volume of sales by its residential property division rose by 4.26 per cent in the year to March 31. Homes valued at a total of £177.3 million changed hands through this team in the 12 months to March.

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The firm said: “That is despite the house-moving industry being close to dormant for almost three months…through restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.”

Lindsays, which recorded £100m worth of sales between August and November alone, declared the housing market had “bounced back in unprecedented style”.

The firm reported a near-9% rise in the volume of its home sales in Edinburgh in the year to March. The value of sales in Edinburgh increased by 6.39% to £102.5m. The remaining, near-£75m of home sales were in Tayside, where Lindsays noted the number of properties sold was “level on the year, highlighting the steady nature of the regional market”.

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Maurice Allan, managing director of residential property at Lindsays, said: “The financial consequences of Covid-19 are unlike anything we have seen before in the fact that lenders are still making money available to borrowers - and that the Government is encouraging them to - despite the wider challenges in the economy, something we have not experienced in previous periods of uncertainty. That continues to be good for the property market.”

He added: “There’s no doubt that many people used the first lockdown as an opportunity to think about where they wanted to live ¬- and were quick to react when restrictions eased in the summer. In 20 years in the property industry, I have never experienced such intense interest as when we worked our way through that bottleneck.

“Had anyone told us this time last year that we would be recording an increase in sales, when compared to 2019/20, I would have struggled to believe them.”