The average number of prospective buyers registered in each branch in January was 425, a 10 per cent rise from December according to the National Association of Estate Agents.
The number of properties available to buy on estate agents’ books in January was 38. This is a decrease from December when 41 properties were available and the lowest recorded since July last year.
The NAEA says that the increase in house hunters and decrease in properties means there is an average of 11 buyers chasing each property.
Looking at first time buyers, the association says 30 per cent of sales last month were made to FTBs, a slight decrease from December’s 32 per cent.
Meanwhile the number of sales agreed per branch increased from six in December to eight last month – returning to the same level seen in November.
Some seven per cent sold for more than the original asking price in January – the highest amount since April 2016 – although the NAEA has given no details of the remaining 93 per cent, nor of any potential price reductions prior to their sale.
“The increase in the number of properties selling for more than asking price in January could be a result of heightened interest and the fact there is simply not enough housing to meet demand” says Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark.
“When the Government issued their Housing White Paper at the start of February we stated how important it was for the industry to put forward robust solutions to really make a difference and it’s vital that building more affordable housing is at the very top of their agenda.”