The supply of available housing dropped to the lowest level ever for March, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark).
The number of properties available per NAEA branch fell to 39 last month, the lowest recorded for the month of March since records began in December 2002.
On an annual basis, supply is down 28% as agents had 54 properties available to market last March.
The report also found that demand for housing is falling with an average of 397 house hunters registered per branch, compared to 425 in February.
In March last year, there were 417 prospective buyers registered per branch, meaning demand has fallen by 5% year-on-year.
Mark Hayward, chief executive at the NAEA Propertymark, said: “There are currently ten house-hunters chasing each available property, and with supply at the lowest level for March since records began, building more homes to satisfy demand needs to be a priority. In line with this, while sales to first-time buyers rose slightly in March, they’re still much lower than the levels seen in the last three months of 2016 which is cause for concern.”
The survey also revealed that a year on since the higher rates of stamp duty for additional properties was introduced, two thirds - 64% - of agents have seen demand for properties from buy-to-let investors fall.
Almost two-fifths of agents - 37% - have seen home prices rise as a direct result of the stamp duty reforms.
“The upcoming general election is a good opportunity for each party to outline their plans for tackling the housing crisis – we hope to see it prioritised so we can make the market a better place once and for all,” Hayward added.