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House buyer interest 'on the rise'

Home buyer interest has reached a five-year peak, with an 18 per cent rise in registrations with estate agents recorded this month.

February 2007 marked the last time such a large increase was recorded, the report by Hometrack revealed.

However, much of the latest increase came from first-time buyers trying to beat the stamp duty holiday by securing mortgages and completing deals.

This provided an "artificial boost", and house prices actually stayed flat in almost all areas for a second month running, said the study.

The only region to record an increase in prices was Greater London with growth of 0.1 per cent.

The South East and the South West saw the biggest rises in first-time buyers - at 28 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

The market has seen a supply increase of only 1.5 per cent over the last six months, making scarcity of homes on offer a "key feature" of the market, said the study.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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