The number of properties available to buy per estate agent branch has plummetted to an 11 year low according to the National Association of Estate Agents.
Supply fell by a third in the last month, with 38 houses available per branch in August, compared to 55 in July.
This is the lowest level of supply seen since January 2004, when the average was also 38.
August also saw a dip in registered buyers with an average of 408 per member branch, compared to 462 in July – a 12 per cent drop.
The number of sales completed in August rose by one to an average 10 properties per branch.
But sales made to first time buyers fell to the lowest level since July 2014. One in five sales were made to FTBs in August, compared to almost one in four in July and June, indicating movement in the market is taking place higher up the ladder.
“There simply aren’t enough houses to match demand and we’re reaching crisis point. There are now 11 house hunters fighting after every available house which isn’t sustainable" says Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director.
"First time buyers are finding themselves being squeezed out of the competition, which of course means it’s taking young buyers longer to get their foot on the first step of the ladder, which will in turn increase pressure on the rental market.”
By sharp contrast, however, Your Move's latest figures suggest a contrary market picture for first time buyer sales - it says there were 30,200 FTB sales in August, up 27.4 per cent from May.