The Halifax have revealed that the end of the stamp duty holiday and a rise in first-time buyers rushing to jump on the property ladder, helped push up UK residential property values by 2.2% in March.

The lender said property values averaged £163,803 in March 2012

The average residential property value was 2.2% higher than in February but still 0.1% lower on a quarter-by-quarter basis and 0.6% down on 2011 property values.

Halifax housing economist, Martin Ellis, said: “Efforts by first-time buyers to beat the expiry of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March have probably increased sales in recent months and may have helped to support prices.”

Research by the bank revealed that around 4 in 10 first-time buyers benefited from the stamp duty concession before the threshold for stamp duty fell from £250,000 to £125,000 at the end of March 2012.

The HMRC have confirmed the number of residential property sales in January and February was 14% higher than in the same period of 2011, its highest level since 2009.

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