The buoyancy of the West Midland house market was underlined yesterday by figures showing price expectations are at the highest level for two years.
Prices rose again in May, according to the latest monthly survey by RICS, the chartered surveyors' professional body.
In the three months to May, 13 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise in house prices than a fall, compared with just nine per cent in April, RICS said.
Activity levels have also soared, with agreed sales rising at the fastest pace since November 2005.
Looking ahead, confidence among chartered surveyors for future sales has peaked to the highest point since the survey began. Regional spokesman for RICS in the West Midlands, Harvey Williams, said: "During recent weeks we have seen a range of conflicting information on how the West Midland housing market is fairing.
"There is a lot of data available, but most indices don't take into account the whole picture. RICS figures are able to reflect the entirety of the residential market, offering a clear picture of current trends.
"Anecdotal evidence suggests that enquires from first-time buyers are once again on the up across the West Midlands, accounting for as many as 30 per cent of completed sales in lower price brackets.
"The regional market looks positive as we head into summer, with an estimated seven per cent increase in activity on the same period last year."
Across the UK, house prices have shown the strongest rise in two years as demand grew on the back of an improved economic environment and healthier consumer confidence. Twenty per cent more surveyors reported a rise than a fall during May, compared with 15 per cent in April.
And the recent fall in the stock market and speculation over interest rate hikes have done nothing to dampen demand, according to the survey. Buyer enquiries have continued to rise for a record breaking 12th month in a row, with 22 per cent more surveyors reporting a rise.
The growth in new instructions to sell came as vendors pushed more property onto the market due to rising unemployment, and as a reaction to new multiple occupation legislation and the possible implementation of home information packs, or HIPS.