Demand for homes last month hit an eight-month high according to the National Association of Estate Agents.
But as individual agents have been reporting for many weeks, supply is still low and the numbers of homes coming to the market have not recovered from the general election slowdown.
According to NAEA’s latest report, 383 house hunters were registered on average per branch in May - compared to 344 in April - and the highest number recorded since September 2014, when 406 house hunters were registered.
Last month also witnessed the highest year-on-year demand for 10 years, when 386 house hunters were recorded per branch.
Supply of housing has increased very slightly from last month, with 46 houses up for sale per NAEA member branch, compared to 43 in April. While demand for property was at similarly high levels to May 2005, supply has almost halved year-on-year over the 10 years, when 81 properties were available to buy.
As supply and demand levels have risen, the number of sales per member branch also rose slightly from last month, with nine sales agreed in May, compared to eight in April. Sales to first- time buyers increased in May, jumping from 26 per cent in April to 29 per cent of sales in May.
Mark Hayward, managing director at NAEA, says the rise in numbers of those seeking to buy is down to the return of some economic confidence since the election.
“However, supply does not meet the rise in demand, and as consumer confidence grows we will continue to see a widening of the property gap. The housing shortage will not be solved any time soon, so as pressure mounts we will no doubt see increases in house prices, making it harder for those stepping on or up the ladder” Hayward says.
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