As the supply/demand imbalance continues there is an average of 11 prospective buyers chasing every property for sale, according to NAEA Propertymark (National Association of Estate Agents).
The organisation's latest survey of its members has revealed that the average agency branch had 425 registered prospective buyers in January, up 10% from the figure recorded in December 2016.
Average supply levels decreased, however, with the typical branch having 38 properties on its books in January, down from 41 the previous month. January's figure represents the lowest recorded since July 2016.
During the first month of the year, estate agents reported that approximately 30% of sales were made to first-time buyers, down from 32% in December.
The total number of sales agreed per typical agency branch increased last month, however, from six to eight - returning to the level recorded last November.
NAEA Propertymark's report also shows that around 7% of properties sold for more than their original asking price in January - the highest proportion recorded since April 2016 (9%).
“January saw a surge in buyers looking to kick off the New Year with a new home – but competition is rife," says Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark's chief executive.
"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."
"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,” he adds.