With 11 buyers now chasing each property for sale, a higher number of homes are selling for in excess of the original asking price, a trade body for estate agents claims.
According to the newly released January Housing Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), there were 425 potential buyers registered per branch in January, up 10% compared with the previous month, while housing supply remains low in comparison.
The volume of properties available to buy on estate agents’ books in January was 38. This is a decrease from December when 41 homes were available and the lowest recorded since July 2016.
The NAEA said that 7% of properties in January sold for more than the original asking price on the back of the widening supply-demand imbalance, with the South West seeing the highest number of properties selling for more than the initial asking price.
Shropshire, Hampshire and the Midlands are the areas which have the most house hunters compared to the number of properties available.
Mark Hayward, chief executive of the recently rebranded NAEA Propertymark, said: “January saw a surge in buyers looking to kick off the New Year with a new home – but competition is rife with an average of 11 buyers chasing each property.
“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.”