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Visitors to, the leading website for home-hunters, showed a 5% increase in the period from Boxing Day till 13th January, compared to the same period last year, prompting commentators to talk of early signs of a buoyant property market this spring.

Although 5% is not conclusive evidence, it is seen as noteworthy because the market this time last year experienced a one-off boost prior to the introduction of the stamp duty hike for second homes in April 2016.