Sales, new listings and new buyer enquiries all rose in January, according to RICS estate agents.
The RICS says that agents in most of the regions saw a noticeable pick-up in buyer enquiries, while agreed sales rose for a second month in succession.
New instructions also rose last month, says the RICS, while the number of market appraisals carried out was higher than a year ago.
The RICS says that while this bodes well for the coming months, the improvement follows a long period of falling supply, and average stock levels remain very low at an average of 43 properties per branch.
The RICS also notes that house price pressure appears to be building.
Most RICS estate agents expect house price inflation to gather pace this year.
On the lettings side, RICS agents are reporting a mismatch in demand and supply, with the number of new landlord instructions down for a 15th consecutive quarter, but demand from tenants on the rise.
The RICS forecasts rents rising by just over 2% this year.
There were 342 responses to the latest RICS survey, covering 739 branches.