Affluent buyers are driving the U.K. home rush, with demand surging for larger, detached family homes, new research shows.

Twice as many four- or more bedroom homes secured a buyer over the past month as they did a year ago, according to Rightmove’s monthly House Price Index, published on Monday. Demand from buyers looking for larger homes with more space to quarantine, work and potentially school from home has picked up pace in September, driving the average asking price for a home with four or more bedrooms to £564,512 (US$721,737), up 4.9% compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, agreed-to sales since Jan. 1 have nearly recovered to 2019 levels despite the market blackout from mid-March through mid-May due to the coronavirus. Deals have even surpassed 2019 levels in the country’s more rural and affordable northern regions, according to Rightmove.

“In the first few months of the market reopening, I was saying that we were as busy as we’d ever been, but even that is now paling into insignificance when compared with how busy we are right now,” said Ben Hudson, managing director of agency Hudson Moody in the northern city of York.

Many buyers are coming from as far away as London, in search of a more space at an affordable price, Mr. Hudson said.

“They’re selling up their homes in Wandsworth and Clapham and buying a four-bedroom detached house in York, because they’ll only be commuting from here once or twice a week, something they would never have been able to consider doing before,” he added.

Average asking prices in the surrounding area of Yorkshire and the Humber surged more than 7% in the year through September due to the flurry of activity. It was one of six British regions where asking prices hit a record this month, according to Rightmove. Scotland was also among those record breakers, as prices are up 8.8% compared to last year.

While large four- and five-bedroom homes are the strongest segment, agreed-to sales are up across every housing type in the U.K. Deals for three-bedroom homes and four-bedroom apartments and townhouses, a segment Rightmove refers to as “second stepper,” increased 55% in September over last year, and entry-level homes saw a 36% increase in activity during the same period.

London, which has faced a multi-year slump in both sales and home prices, has even gotten in on the action. The average asking price in greater London ticked up in September compared to August and has now increased nearly 5% over a year ago.

“We know that some people are now choosing to move out of London altogether, but these latest figures show that there’s still plenty of activity in the outer areas of the capital,” said Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove.

It’s also taking sellers considerably less time to find a buyer. The average U.K. home was on the market for 53 days in August, more than a week faster than in August 2019.

In fact, there are reports that the home-buying process can’t keep up with the pace of demand, with lenders, government offices and attorneys overwhelmed from the burst of activity.

“We’d advise that buyers and sellers factor in at least an extra month to account for the current delays in the process, if possible, as time is already running short for sales that are agreed now to be completed by Christmas,” Mr. Bannister said.