"Not only are we seeing a very strong level of buyer activity, but we’ve also been inundated with requests from potential sellers keen to make the most of these buoyant market conditions."
Its data shows that first-time buyer asking prices have hit a new record of £214,176 after a monthly jump of 1.4%.
Rightmove says strong demand and continuing low numbers of available homes for sale has "set up the housing market frenzy to continue into the start of 2022", with early-bird sellers benefitting from increased buyer competition.
The number of buyer enquiries is 15% higher than this time last year and the number of available homes for sale per estate agency branch has fallen further to a new record low of just 12.
As a result, competition among buyers is almost double what it was at this time last year.
However, Rightmove says there are early signs that more property choice is on its way, with the first working week of 2022 being the busiest start of the year ever for people requesting agents to come out and value their homes.
The number of home valuation requests in the first working week of 2022 is 44% up on the same period last year and 48% compared to January 2020.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “There have been no signs of a sluggish start to the year for the property market and not only are we seeing a very strong level of buyer activity, but we’ve also been inundated with requests from potential sellers keen to make the most of these buoyant market conditions.
"We’re now seeing a strong level of activity returning to the London market and the capital’s forecast is far brighter for the year ahead, having been uncharacteristically left in the shadows during the pandemic house price boom.
"Overseas buyers are returning in their number and the capital is hotting up as the time to sell a home reduces and stock availability comes under pressure.
"If buyers are quick there is still an element of ‘old stock’ that has been stuck on the market and these opportunities can potentially be snapped up at relatively decent price levels - for now.”