Sales up as duty break ends

HOUSE sales in Scotland rose slightly last month as an increased number of first-time buyers looked to buy before the current stamp duty holiday comes to an end.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland said the looming end to the duty holiday partly lay behind a small increase in newly-agreed sales in January. From March 24, first-time buyers purchasing homes worth between £125,000 and £250,000 will no longer be exempt from paying the 1 per cent duty.

Scottish surveyors said they did not expect the withdrawal of the two-year duty amnesty to create a huge rush from buyers.

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