More homes were sold in November than any other month this year, figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have revealed.
Despite a struggling economy, unsure unemployment prospects and the need for large deposits, some 85,000 properties were sold in the month.
It marks an improvement on October when 79,000 homes were sold and on November last year when 76,000 property transactions were completed.
Last month's figure was actually the highest seen in the sector since July last year.
But despite the short-term pick-up in the housing market, 2011 has still failed to match up to 2010.
In the first 11 months of last year, there were 810,000 sales; well up on the 787,000 that have been sold so far this year.
The figures suggest that many first time buyers are pushing through deals before the end of the stamp duty holiday for homes worth up to £250,000.
The initiative is to end on 24 March 2012, after which the rules will revert to normal.
This means anyone buying a property for more than £125,000 will have to pay stamp duty of at least 1%.
It had been hoped that the holiday might be extended further in order to help keep costs down for first time buyers.
However, the Chancellor's Autumn Statement passed without an extension being granted.
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