DETERMINED house hunters from around London are snapping up Black Country homes for way above the asking price – without even viewing the properties they wish to buy.

Estate agent Bobby Singh, who runs Oldbury-based Love Your Postcode, also said bids were being tabled within minutes of details of houses for sale being issued.

He said the area was proving desirable for buyers because properties were much cheaper here than down south while factors such as the quality of life and transport links in the Black Country were also enticing.

But Mr Singh, who set up Love Your Postcode in 2009, said the unusual practice of people bidding before viewing was growing as a result of fears of being outbid.

In the past few months, the company has sold a house in Park Street, Rowley Regis for £148,000 when it had been listed for £8,000 less to a Colchester-based buyer.

Another house – in St Edmund Close, Dudley – was purchased for £128,000 by a client in London when it had been put up for sale for £120,000.

Mr Singh said: “This is quite remarkable. Two buyers putting in bids for two different houses without even viewing them. That is how keen they are to own properties in this area.

“At first, I told them I couldn’t accept their bids without viewings as I was concerned they might change their minds later. But they were insistent and offered to pay the deposits straight away.

“They also started outbidding themselves when other offers haven’t even been received – immediately contacting me to increase their bids. They are used to getting gazumped in places like London and so to offer £8-10,000 above the asking price for a house here isn’t a problem.

“Obviously, properties are cheaper here but they also recognise this is a fabulous area to be in. There are excellent airports, public transport and motorway links, diverse communities, employment prospects and greenery not too far away. The lifestyle is much better up here.”

He added: “I feel sorry for local buyers, especially first time ones. How do they compete with offers coming in up to £10,000 above the asking price? But it is a seller’s market in this situation.”

Mr Singh has provided a few tips to help people get their desired homes. He said: “Sign up with a good local estate agent and develop a relationship with them.

“We have waiting lists for clients so I would recommend buyers do that with their agents too. And people should ensure they have their mortgage promises in place.”