March figures show first rise for two years

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The Independent Online

House prices climbed by 0.2 per cent last month – the first rise in nearly two years.

Figures published today by Hometrack will quench fears the end of the stamp duty holiday would hit the housing market hard.

Concerns were fuelled last week by figures from Nationwide building society that suggested house prices had dropped one per cent in March, the biggest fall in two years.

That fall shocked some commentators, but they will be heartened by Hometrack's figures, which are based on a survey of 1,500 estate agents and surveyors. The property analytics business said increased demand and activity and a scarcity of housing for sale, helped prices rise 0.2 per cent in March. The increase was the first positive move in the survey for 20 months.