Property bidding wars break out at record pace

He added: “Special properties in a good location can sell for more than 50pc over the asking price.

“There was one renovated bungalow with a sea view overlooking the beach near Elie [in Fife] which was on the market for around £425,000. It had 70 viewings in 10 days and had 22 offers – I have never seen that before. It sold for more than 50pc over its valuation.”

The finite nature of the stamp duty holiday, which ran from July 2020 to September 2021, cranked up pressure on buyers, pushing them into bidding wars.

But the share of homes selling above the asking price was still at a record high towards the end of the year, after the holiday had ended.

In March 2021, the month the tax break was initially intended to end, 26pc of homes sold for more than they were originally listed. By October this had increased to almost 38pc and was still at 35pc in December.

Ms Whitfield added: “A few of our properties in the Cotswolds sold for millions in excess of the guide price. Buyers are really having to sell themselves to get ahead in the race, some have been writing letters to sellers, trying to humanise their bid.

“In some sales the vendor’s cars have even been negotiated into the sales, because buyers are moving out of London and buying a property with land for which they need a four-wheel drive.”

Despite a well-documented exodus from London last year, bidding wars were also prevalent in the more high-end areas of the capital, said Tom Kain, of Black Brick, a buying agent.

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