Buyer demand climbed by 2% in quarter one of 2020, compared to both Q1 of 2019 and the previous quarter alone, according to data analysis from GetAgent.co.uk.
Using data from the major property portals, GetAgent.co.uk based the analysis on the total level of the stock listed for sale in each location, and the ratio that had already gone under offer or been sold subject to contract.
In London, demand lifted by 7% annually, and 3% quarter-on-quarter.
In the months before the COVID-19 lockdown hit, Falkirk (65%), Bristol (62%), Dartford (61%), Glasgow (60%) and Sheffield (59%) experienced the highest levels of buyer demand.
Derry (+12%), Belfast (+8%), Basingstoke (+7%), Birkenhead (+6%) and High Wycombe (+6%) saw the largest uplift compared to Q4 2019.
Annually, the areas with the strongest uplift were Woking (+15%), High Wycombe (+12%), Bristol (+10%), Basildon (+10%) and Reading (+9%).
The most in-demand boroughs within London in Q1 were Bexley (64%), Waltham Forest (57%) and Havering (54%).
The boroughs that saw the best uplift compared to the previous quarter were Ealing (+11%), Southwark (+7%) and Bromley (+7%), and on an annual basis were Ealing (+14%) and Waltham Forest (13%).
Aberdeen remains the least in-demand location among buyers, at just 7% in Q1. Blackpool (25%), Stockton-on-Tees (26%), Darlington (27%) and Middlesbrough (29%) were also among the areas with the lowest demand.
Exeter (-5%), Hove (-4%) and Dudley (-3%) have seen the largest decline in buyer demand when compared to Q4 2019, while despite a strong quarterly uplift, Derry saw the largest decline when compared to the start of last year at -12%.
The City of London (10%) was lowest on the list for current demand, standing alongside Camden (-2%) when it came to quarterly declines, as well as seeing the largest annual drop at -8%.
Colby Shot, founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, said: “A painful reminder of what could have been, with so many early market indicators suggesting a very strong year was on the cards for the UK property market after months of Brexit uncertainty.
“Those that did brave a bleak political outlook to push on with a purchase may not have had the last laugh, but looking at where we are now, they will certainly be glad they choose to transact rather than wait it out.
“A brief few months of strong activity early this year has now given way to a full market freeze and with no concrete view on when this will thaw, we expect to see data around buyer demand for the second quarter of this paint a very different story.”