“More space –that’s what we need, let’s go for it.”

Know the feeling? It’s driving the market since restrictions were eased, according to industry experts.

This month’s market report from Zoopla shows the effect the pandemic has had on lifestyles.

Figures released by the online estate agency this week reveal that demand from buyers motivated by a search for space peaked at 80 per cent above comparative figures from 2017-19 (classified by the authors of this report as “normal times.”)

Waseem and Rasha Al-Jaf had already planned to buy their own place last year and much to their delight they did it.

Until then they were living in London in a one bed rented flat.

They’re both 30. He works in software sales, Rasha is a University Quality Officer.

Having saved for their deposit, they begun to look at apartments within their budget on Help to Buy developments.

“It always made sense for us to live in London,” Waseem says. “We’d been there our whole lives. We’d never considered moving due to it being such a practical location for work.

“We discussed maybe looking at Watford but when we started working from home we branched out and decided to look slightly further afield to see how much more we could get for our money.”

They kicked off their hunt by researching areas north of London with good transport links into the centre of London and that’s how they discovered Milton Keynes in north Bucks.

“It’s perfect for us,” Rasha says, “It’s such a modern town. The grid system means you can be anywhere in 10-15 minutes maximum.

“It’s also a very multi-cultural place and really does offer the best of both worlds with its huge variety of parkland and green space and it has a city buzz about it.

“We decided Milton Keynes was the town for us and booked viewings on a few developments to see what ticked our boxes.”

The three bedroom house built by a company called L&Q on the edge of Milton Keynes in a district named Saxon Reach included many extras other developers charged for, say the couple.

“These perks were a no-brainer for us – without having to pay extra, we would have a turfed garden with a shed, integrated appliances throughout the whole kitchen, carpets and quality flooring. We knew it was the place for us.”

Their offer on a £350,000 property was accepted and they put down a deposit of £17,500.

Since moving in, their main outgoings each month they say are £950 for the mortgage repayment, £181 for council tax, £24 for the residents’ service charge to keep the development up to scratch and £100 for household bills.

“We’d never considered moving out of London until the pandemic changed our priorities, now we have more than we could have asked for.

“What’s more, the sales team were extremely supportive and even helped us finalise a furniture pack which saved us a lot of money.”

Four bedroom houses for sale at Saxon Reach currently start at £499,995. Shared ownership is also a possibility on some properties on the development.