Property instructions also rocketed by 107% in January 2010, compared to December 2009, with house sales increasing by 20% in January 2010 compared to the previous year.
Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide, says the final weeks of the Stamp Duty holiday in December pushed through hundreds of sales but a new wave of buyers and sellers have come through in 2010, which has caused a sharp increase in demand.
He says: “New buyer enquiries rose by 81.7% in January 2010 while viewings increased by 50% compared to December 2009.
“Sellers are finally returning to the market, with the number doubling in January and sales are up 20%, while house prices have increased by 15.5% on last year.
“This strong demand is a good indicator and highlights a renewed sense of consumer confidence, which gives us an idea of what the market might look like in the coming months.”