The supply of available properties for sale in Britain increased by 15% in September while demand from buyers also rose, according to estate agents.

The latest housing market report from the National Association of Estate Agent (NAEA) shows that the number of properties available to buy increased from 40 in August to 46 per member branch on average.

This is the highest number recorded since March 2016 when an average of 54 properties were available and the highest for the month of September since 2014, when an average of 51 properties were available per estate agent branch.

It also shows that the number of house hunters registered per branch rose by 6% from 320 in August, to 338 in September and despite this short term trend, demand is down by 14% year on year from 394 registered per branch in September 2017.

However, following a three year low for first time buyer activity in August, sales to the group rose marginally in September, increasing by 2% to 22% and the number of sales agreed per branch remained the same in September, with an average of nine recorded per branch.

‘Buyers and sellers always tend to flood the market in September with the hope of completing their transactions before the festive period kicks off. Therefore, the summer is usually a good time for first time buyers to enter negotiations and try to secure a property,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.

‘However, this summer’s heatwave led to an unusually busy August as house buyers and sellers opted to stay at home rather than heading abroad for their summer holidays. This boosted competition and meant sales to first time buyers were down,’ he explained.

‘We hope that during next week’s Autumn Budget the Chancellor announces further measures to improve market conditions for first time buyers. Ultimately, the only thing which will make the housing ladder more accessible is reduced competition, which comes down to supply,’ he added.