Compromise is the name of the game in property market, as increasing numbers of buyers find they are priced out of the market. According to Hamptons latest housing market report sale activity has increased by up to 35% over the last month and there has been a 90% rise in offers. Agents have noted sensible priced properties are selling within hours or days rather than weeks and months. ‘Overall, the sheer volume of potential new entrants looking for property has vastly exceeded forecasts,’ said a spokesperson for Hamptons.

London and the Thames Valley have all had an excellent start to the year. ‘There has been an acute shortage of properties for sale in prime areas of the Capital for several months, while demand from buyers has reached record levels,’ said Marc Goldberg, regional sales director for London. ‘Our stock available property is 33% lower than last year, whilst demand is 22% higher. This is resulting in some very aggressive buying behaviour.’

In the Western regions demand is also outstripping supply but agents are forecasting a more balanced market for the rest of 2007. ‘With further rate rises anticipated during this year, affordability will no doubt play an important part in respect of any future house purchasing transactions,’ said regional sales director Ursula Sadler.

The West Country, according to Hamptons, still provides exceptional value for money and is a good option for those outpriced by the London market. ‘With an exceptionally strong London market showing no signs of abating, many purchasers will be forced to find a home further afield, seeking out areas that offer excellent road and rail communications,’ explained Ms Sadler.