Demand for UK housing hit its highest level in two years in March as more properties were put up for sale ahead of the Stamp Duty holiday-end, data suggests.
New buyer enquiries edged up to levels not seen since 2010, with 9% more surveyors reporting increases rather than decreases in demand, according to figures published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
Simon Rubinsohn, Rics' chief economist, said: "Demand saw a slight boost in March as many first-time buyers looked to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline.
"There has been a gentle increase in activity across the market in the early part of the year but it remains to be seen is whether this can continue, given the changes in the Budget and ongoing problems affecting the economy."
The Stamp Duty holiday ended last month after being introduced in 2010. It had allowed first-time buyers to save up to £2,500 by exempting them from 1% Stamp Duty on homes worth between £125,000 and £250,000.
Ministers said the move had not helped people to get on to the property ladder as hoped.
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