SOMERSET-BASED estate agent Roderick Thomas has reported a surge in sales since the start of the year, with demand from overseas buyers booming.

In the past fortnight the agency, which has its principal offices in Wells and Castle Cary, has agreed 15 property sales, to both domestic and international buyers.

Many properties are going under offer within 48 hours of being listed, indicating that the Somerset housing market is thriving.

A Roderick Thomas spokesman said: “In the past week alone, our Wells office has sold property to buyers from Hong Kong, Spain and the USA, and had several further enquiries from the USA and New Zealand.

“We’ve seen a significant leap in the number of overseas buyers, particularly in the £400,000 to over £1,000,000,00 price bracket.

"Confidence is high - international buyers are agreeing a house purchase, often at over £1,000,000, without even viewing the property in person first, simply on information over the phone or via email and the web.”

In this month's Budget announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled new government measures for the housing market, including an extension of the current stamp duty holiday, together with a mortgage guarantee scheme to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.

“Along with help for first-time buyers, an extension of the current stamp duty holiday up to £500,000 until the end of June plus a continued stamp duty reduction up to £250,000 until the end of September is certainly a further boost for the housing market and terrific news for both buyers and sellers," the Roderick spokesman added.

"This will remove any fear of market panic and, I’m sure, keep sales buoyant into Autumn and beyond.

“With Rightmove reporting a record high in online house-hunting last month, clearly there are a lot of buyers aiming to move this year, both in the UK and from abroad.

"We’re expecting to be busy for many months to come.”