Purchase instructions and sale enquiries at law firms and estate agents across the country are showing signs of recovery as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Zara Banday, partner and head of the property department at Manchester-based law firm Slater Heelis said: “We have certainly seen an upswing in enquires… with levels hopefully heading towards pre-lockdown levels. Residential markets tend to be fuelled by confidence and we certainly see positive signs of a market bounce emerging in the North West and beyond.”

The lockdown affected the residential market in a number of ways including preventing transactions from completing, ending viewings in person and putting exchange of contracts on hold.

Property professionals suggest many new enquiries may be as result of people having time during lockdown to think about their current situation and conclude they need additional, or in some cases separate, living space.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Ms Banday said: “It is also a sad fact of the pandemic situation that probate sales will rise as bereaved families settle the affairs of their loved ones.”

She added: “With so many people so uncertain about their future employment status, we won’t have a true reflection of the market until at least the autumn. We’d like to see the market stimulated by central government through the form of a stamp duty holiday on larger homes. This move could provide a real shot in the arm for the market and really help get the economy moving again.”