PANIC buying and dreams of a better life has sent house prices rocketing with Richmondshire recording the biggest increase in the country at 30 per cent according to the latest shock figures from the Land Registry.

Estate agents report demand is far outstripping supply with some buyers living in caravans or Airbnb's after selling homes elsewhere so they can be in the best position to snap up houses when they come on the market.

One two bedroom stone cottage in the Yorkshire Dales was viewed ten times leading to eight bids in the first few days of coming on the market. A lot of sales are now going to best and final offers because so many people are coming up with the asking price.

The latest Land Registry figures put average house prices in the past year up to June at £275,000 in Richmondshire which covers part of the Yorkshire Dales and Catterick Garrison, compared to £213,000 last June. In Richmond upon Thames in London, house prices have increased by 0.5 per cent from £699,000 to £702,000.

Agent James Brown of Norman F Brown of Richmond said he believes increases would be nearer 15 per cent and there is a lot of panic buying.

"The point is we get headlines like this and people think they will miss out. It has been very busy and demand outstrips supply. A lot of it is down to Low interest rates, the stamp duty holiday and people know they can work from home. This is a lovely place to live."

Darlington based My Property Box, says it has seen a huge uplift in both property sales and lettings with all homes they have in the Richmond and Catterick area sold subject to contract. They also report a huge demand for rented property in Richmondshire with each home getting more than 20 viewing requests.

Managing director Ben Quaintrell said: "The pandemic has prompted people to reassess their lives focusing on what really matters, home and family. For many, that equates to moving to a rural or semi-rural location.

"It’s no surprise Richmondshire has seen Britain’s highest increase in prices, given that it covers a huge swathe of the Dales National Park. While largely agricultural, the eastern part of the district is well-connected to the A1M, East Coast Main Line and Teesside Airport."