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Flats making a comeback on home buyers’ wish lists as demand surges

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Demand for flats outside London is at its strongest level for at least five years, according to a property website.

Relatively modest increases in flat prices compared with other property types are helping to drive interest from buyers across the UK, Zoopla suggested.

The average price for a terraced, semi-detached or detached home is £289,500, which is 8.8% higher than a year earlier, according to Zoopla’s figures.

The annual rise in flat prices is a quarter of the rate of increase for houses, with flat prices increasing by 2.2%.

The average price of a flat is now £175,700, Zoopla said.

It continued: “As hybrid working continues to become the norm and city workers slowly return to offices, demand for flats is on a sharp upward trajectory, reaching its  highest level for five years.”

Zoopla’s records on demand started five years ago.

The website added: “Many agents are reporting that relatively modest price increases have helped reignite their popularity amongst buyers.”

Nick Leeming, chairman at estate agent Jackson-Stops said: “Demand hasn’t only been limited to those seeking more space in rural locations.

“Demand is also rising across our cities as people once again return to offices and seek out cultural and social amenities including access to theatres, restaurants and museums.

“In London we have noted an uptick in homeowners who moved out to the countryside at the start of the pandemic, but who missed the city and have now returned.”

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank said: “Apartments are… moving back onto the radar of buyers as lockdown restrictions are lifted, which has created a temporary sweet-spot of extremely high demand.”

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