The estate agent noted the UK market had bounced back remarkably well since the end of May, although the capital had been less responsive.
In a year-end trading update, Savills said: “Our UK prime residential business, which effectively missed the spring selling season during the first lockdown, showed an extraordinary rebound in activity from the end of May”.
This was predominantly in the regional markets outside London “where the volume of activity in prime residential markets for the year as a whole was the strongest since before the global financial crisis,” it added.
However, it noted that commercial property transactions were significantly affected by the pandemic which remained substantially below 2019 levels.
Looking to the year ahead, Savills acknowledged it was too early to predict the direction of activity with renewed lockdowns and substantial increases in infection rates in most markets.
“That said, global investor demand for secure income, restricted supply and expectations of continued low interest rates suggest that the medium and long-term attraction of real estate as an asset class remains highly positive,” it noted.
“The pace and efficacy of mass vaccination programmes and consequent reductions in lockdown and travel restrictions will dictate the rate at which transactional markets recover from here to reflect underlying demand.”
And in general terms, Savills said it expected transactional activity to remain suppressed in the first half of 2021 with improvement in some markets in the second quarter followed by progressive recovery through the second half of the year.
Full year results will be published in March, but the board said Savills had delivered a resilient performance with underlying results for the year expected to be at the upper end of its expectations.