DURING the past 18 months the country has been changed for ever – and this is no less apparent when you look at the housing market on Sandbanks.

Robert Dunford, of Tailor Made estate agents, said: "We've had owners who had holiday homes here who have actually sold up and upgraded to a main residence here in the last 18 months.

"There is a question mark whether it is Brexit? Whether it is Covid? Is it a combination of both, that has made people reanalyse and refocus on what they want."

Working practices have shifted so much through the pandemic it has had a huge affect on Sandbanks when it comes to interest in property.

"Covid has been a game changer, " said Robert. "It gave us the kickstart to realise we don't have to travel into the city for those meetings, we don't have to travel to that office all the time - we can do elements from home.

"We had our best year on record last year. In 2020 we doubled our turnover.

"This year so far has been record-breaking January and February. This has been in a lockdown...it is mind boggling, it is hard to fathom.

"But then when we take a step back we forget how lucky we are as a society in Poole and Bournemouth.

"It is easy to forget how lucky we are living where we do."

Meanwhile, Nigel Still – of Stephen Noble Estate Agents – said: "We have had the most incredible time since last April, unprecedented levels of activity, and yes, we are all running out of properties to sell.

"The majority of people are looking at second homes, main homes, a real cross section.

"We've now got a situation where the opportunity to buy on the peninsular is, and possibly will remain, very rare indeed.

"People simply aren't interested in relinquishing their second homes, or their main homes.

"Sadly death and divorce are the only reasons for a potential sale now."

Mr Still, whose family have long connections to Sandbanks, said: "I have never seen anything like it before and possibly will never see anything like it again

"My mother, who is 92 in April, was born in number 7 Old Coastguard Cottages. She is probably the oldest surviving person that was born on the peninsular.

"We have seen as a family huge changes over the last 92 years."

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