The chancellor’s cut to stamp duty has prompted bidding wars and a major increase in first time buyers.

Countrywide has reported a 38% rise in buyers since the cut was introduced on 8 July.

Fears that first time buyers would be boxed out by the cut have failed to materialise with that group accounting for the highest rise of 45%.

The threshold for the tax was raised £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March next year.