The top end of the property market is continuing to prosper throughout Herts, with one area recording an annual price increase of 13 per cent.

The higher end of the market is defined as the top five to 10 per cent by value, and the Rickmansworth area saw the most substantial growth at this level, up by 13 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March.

This area also saw prices rise by 6.1 per cent in the first three months of this year – one of the highest increases in the country.

According to Savills data, Harpenden and its surrounds saw an annual increase of 3.7 per cent during the same period, while prices at the start of this year have remained stable.

In the Bishop’s Stortford area there was a 4.1 per cent increase year-on-year and a 1.6 per cent rise in the first quarter of 2022.

Nationally, prime residential markets saw growth of 9 per cent annually and 2 per cent quarterly.

Savills agents say this growth continues to be underpinned by high levels of buyer demand coupled with low levels of properties for sale.

Nick Ingle, head of residential sales at Savills Harpenden, said: “With hybrid working patterns now embedded, a dream move to the country is still at the forefront of the mind for many buyers.

"However, we’re also seeing many regional towns and villages showing stronger quarterly price growth, suggesting proximity to local amenities is becoming a more pressing consideration."

Nick added: “Looking ahead, while the supply-demand imbalance remains a feature of the market the lack of suitable stock is expected to support further price increases. However, this rate of growth is likely to slow as the year progresses given economic pressures.”

In the £2m-plus market, prices have increased by 6.7 per cent year-on-year across the East of England, with quarterly growth of 3.6 percent. Nationally there have been rises of 10.3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

Demand for homes outside London remains extremely strong, according to Graeme Warren, head of residential sales at Savills in Rickmansworth. "The need for greenery clearly remains a factor," he said, "as evidenced by the price rises in the £2m-plus market where best in class country houses remain highly sought after.

“While activity levels have slowed slightly in the mainstream, there is still a strong core of unmet demand at the top end of the market that, for now, remains undeterred by higher costs of debt, rising costs of living and the geo-political uncertainty triggered by the war in Ukraine.

"Here, equity outweighs debt as a source of funding and much higher levels of disposable income mean buyers have been more insulated against macro-economic pressures.”