July saw the lowest levels of properties on the market since records began in 1978, with approximately 47 properties for sale per surveyor.
The shortage is driving competition between buyers and pushing up prices, according to experts – while at the same time causing a vicious cycle whereby the restricted choice of properties available puts off potential movers from bothering to put their own home on the market.
Properties in Bristol, Bath and Swindon are always in high demand, and these urban centres are predicted to drive a 27% growth in the region's economy over the next decade - further increasing housing demand.
So, for buyers who are keen to find a home in these towns and cities, or other parts of the South West, what are the current options? A number of housebuilders are active in the region with developments either available now or coming soon – with some interesting purchase assistance schemes available on many properties...
Liberty Park in Swindon, Wiltshire (Bellway Homes)
In Swindon, which is conveniently located along the M4 corridor, Liberty Park is a contemporary development of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes offering easy access to the town centre and major commuting routes.
It is ideal for families, as all the properties have gardens and garages or off-street parking, and the development is close to several well-respected schools for primary and secondary pupils. There are two supermarkets within a mile's radius of Liberty Park, and Swindon's town centre is only three miles away for shopping, entertainment and eating out.
Commuters are only six miles from the M4, which links London to Bristol; the A419 to Cirencester and Stroud; and the A420 to Bristol and Oxford. Swindon train station offers services to Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Gloucester, Reading and London Paddington, with a journey time to London Paddington of about one hour. For trips further afield, Bristol's international airport is only 50 miles from Liberty Park via the M4.
Prices: From £260,000
Find out more at www.bellway.co.uk ; 07464 480303
Peterside in Temple Cloud, Somerset (Ashford Homes)
On the fringe of the popular village of Temple Cloud, about 11 miles from both Bristol and Bath, Peterside is an exclusive development of just six individually-designed four- and five-bedroom luxury, detached homes.
Built by regional housebuilder, winners of Best Property Company at the Bath Life Awards 2015, this development is situated in a peaceful spot on a no-through road, adjoining open countryside and offering lovely, rural views – while at the same time combining the convenience of being within easy commuting distance of Bristol, Bath and the beautiful city of Wells.
Prices: From £495,000
Find out more at www.ashford-homes.co.uk ; 01225 792550
St. Aubyn's Rise in Ashley near Tiverton, Devon (Heritage New Homes)
Just 15 two-, three- and four-bedroom properties make up this rural development in the Exe Valley, which is situated in mature woodland within the grounds of a country estate.
Each of the homes has been carefully designed to blend in with the style and character of traditional homes found in the surrounding area, yet at the same time their high-specification interiors are designed for modern contemporary living and come with excellent eco credentials.
Despite its countryside location, St Aubyn's Rise is less than a mile from the thriving market town of Tiverton, and only about half-an-hour's drive from the cathedral city of Exeter, less than 15 miles away.
Prices: From £181,000
Find out more at www.heritagenewhomes.co.uk ; 01392 822066
Located above Hain Walk with vistas of blue waters and miles of golden sands, the iconic Godrevy lighthouse and the picturesque harbour of St Ives, The View is an exclusive collection of nine three- and four-bedroom townhouses.
The houses have been arranged over two tiers to maximise the stunning views the elevated position affords. The houses are contemporary in design with open-plan living; high-performance floor-to-ceiling windows flood the spacious interiors with warmth and the infamous St Ives light.
Extending on from their living area each house has a decked glass-balustrade balcony or terrace, ideal for al-fresco dining and enjoying the sub-tropical climate. Along with their individual outside terraces the houses have access to a communal landscaped garden with a decked terrace and a gorgeous octagonal summerhouse. Each house has two allocated parking spaces in the basement along with an individual surf/bicycle store.
Prices: From £750,000
Find out more at http://whathou.se/4n00i9 ; 01626 440139
Finn Square in Weymouth, Dorset (Aster Homes)
Coming soon is this attractive selection of two-, three- and four-bedroom houses for open-market sale alongside some one- and two-bedroom shared ownership apartments, situated in the seaside town of Weymouth, Dorset. The mix of property types and tenures opens up this development to a wide range of buyers, whether they are looking to buy their first home on a tight budget, or upgrading from an existing property.
Weymouth is a thriving town brimming with shops and restaurants, surrounded by beautiful, safe, sandy beaches with waters offering the best sailing conditions in northern Europe. Set in the heart of this historic town, just a stroll from the sea, Finn Square really does offer the best of both worlds.
Prices: From £55,000 (40% share)
Find out more at www.asterhomes.co.uk ; 01380 735480
Palmerston Heights in Derriford, Plymouth, Devon (Persimmon Homes)
Offering a choice of two-bedroom apartments and two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, this development is in a superb city location offering great transport links – and with outstanding schools nearby for buyers with children. Plymouth is Cornwall and Devon's regional capital, and the area offers a fantastic combination of city convenience and countryside attractions on the coast and in Dartmoor National Park.
This development is situated in the suburb of Derriford, just north of the city centre, close to Derriford Hospital. Special offers are available, and the Home Change Scheme is ideal for existing owners – helping them achieve a hassle-free sale of their old home in three easy steps, and saving thousands on estate agent fees.
Prices: From £168,000
Find out more at www.persimmonhomes.com ; 01752 967879
Chilton Waters in Chilton Trinity near Bridgwater, Somerset (Redrow)
This development offers a collection of three- and four-bedroom homes from the Redrow's award winning Heritage Collection, set in the village of Chilton Trinity, two miles north of the bustling Somerset town of Bridgwater. The development, close to the village ponds and lakes, is in an ideal setting for families.
The homes offer open-plan, family-friendly layouts, and the area is home to some excellent local schools and plenty of green, open spaces. The four-bedroom 'Cambridge' home (from £319,995), for example, combines practicality and style, with contemporary interiors including an en suite to the master bedroom, and a generous garage and separate utility and cloak rooms.
Prices: From £245,995
Find out more at http://whathou.se/y7Ohcy ; 01278 310128
The Rushes in Calne, Wiltshire (Barratt Homes)
Coming soon to Calne in Wiltshire, The Rushes will offer a range of light, bright two-, three- and four-bedroom homes that offer flexible spaces for different lifestyles. The development is only a short distance from Calne high street, and is within the catchment of some great schools.
Calne is an appealing place to live for many families and commuters.
The town is situated on a small river close to the North Wessex Downs hill range, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is also on the A4, with easy links to the M4, and is within commuting distance of Bath (19 miles), Chippenham (six miles, and home to a railway station), Marlborough (13 miles), and Swindon (16 miles). The nearest international airport is Bristol, 38 miles to the southwest.
Find out more at www.barratthomes.co.uk ; 0844 811 1855