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THE UK housing market saw a surge in the level of enquires, both for buyers and sellers in the first two weeks of January, according to estate agents.

The buoyant start to the year was recorded in a poll of almost 700 estate agents conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

Almost two thirds (59 per cent) of those surveyed said that the number of house hunters registering with them during the first two weeks of January was higher than they would normally expect for this time of year. A quarter (26 per cent) said that levels were consistent with the average for January. Just 14 per cent said things were worse than expected.

Similarly, the level of enquiries from potential sellers went up with 45 per cent of NAEA members reporting an increase over the same period. Over a third, 36 per cent of agents questioned said that figures remained steady.

NAEA President Mike Jones said: “The results of this latest survey would seem to indicate a renewed confidence in the housing market as we begin 2011. It is encouraging to see that the majority of our agents are noting an upturn on both the buyer and seller sides and those that didn’t are still reporting steady figures consistent with January of last year.

“The market appears to have experienced a jump start to 2011. We are hopeful that this strong start to the year will continue into February.”

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