A leading Cumbrian estate agency says it completed £6 million-worth of business last month.

Despite fears the Government lockdown would force H&H Land and Estates to close its doors, it said it has been business as almost normal.

Piers Morton, branch manager, said property was still being sold and let, and interest from both buyers and vendors continued.

He said: “In April, across all our various divisions, the business saw £6 million-worth of property completed or sales agreed as well as dozens of residential, commercial and rural properties successfully managed, let and dealt with.

"In addition to the many enquiries from people wanting to move North, perhaps as a result of evaluating their lifestyle and wanting to live in the countryside, we have a list of dozens of people wanting to view properties and in the region of 25 requests for valuations."

The firm, which has branches in Carlisle, Kendal, Durham, Penrith, Keswick, Cockermouth and Grange-over-Sands, said it had employed different tactics to make sure business continued in the absence of usual face-to-face contact.

Piers added: "In the lettings department, it has certainly not been without its challenges, and many conversations and transactions have been conducted through windows!

"Signing and witnessing rental agreements has been done via posting through doors to avoid human contact and tenants have had to post keys through branch doors with the property checked once vacated.

"Overcoming these hurdles has been instrumental in keeping the business going.

"In our experience, usually the property market sees trends emerging, and now I believe that there is little evidence of the predicted downturn in the market.”

Piers added that the lockdown was giving people time to reflect on the future and consider a house move as part of that, whether it be to relocate, downsize or to move up the property ladder.

He added: “This forced pause is definitely a good time to put in place any house move plans. Not only will this mean that as soon as the lockdown is lifted, the property is prepared it will also mean that the housing market will be ready to bounce back.

“We are feeling quietly confident about the housing market at this time."