Lockdowns and the Government’s stamp duty holiday have sent the Cotswolds property market into a frenzy.

Property searches for the area doubled in the second half of last year, according to property website Rightmove.

They found that the demand significantly outstripped the national average, with interest rising by 102%.

In fact, the number of sales being agreed by agents outperformed the South West as a whole, peaking in September with a 100% annual rise.

Some of the most popular areas included Chipping Norton, which was up by 109.5 per cent, and Burford up 82.3 per cent.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove's director of property data, said: "The headline market trend to emerge from 2020 was a huge jump in demand for rural areas and countryside living, and the Cotswolds ticks pretty much every box for home-movers seeking an escape to the country."

Harry Gladwin, a buying agent with The Buying Solution, the bespoke property search consultancy of Knight Frank, estimated around 50 people are now chasing every £2million family home in the Cotswolds.

He said: “Last week the selling agent had sent details of a four-bedroom house out to 20-odd people and 15 of them were bidding for it.

“It hadn’t gone near the property portals.”

March was the busiest month for house sale agreements in a decade, according to Rightmove. More sales were agreed on March 23 than on any other day in the past 10 years.

Across the country, except in London, there is less than two and a half months’ worth of homes left to buy at the current rates of sales as people who are wary of the effects of Covid are not putting their houses on the market.

Meanwhile charities and housing professionals are saying that post-pandemic demand for housing is now polarised between the wealthy going after highly desirable homes and first-time buyers who face not being able to get on to the property ladder.