Estate agents are urging politicians to push on with house building as demand from potential buyers picks up.
Demand from house hunters rose sharply in May as buyers made viewings after the election, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said.
The view follows comments from the British Bankers' Association that the UK housing market is "hotting up".
The possibility of a rise in interest rates at the turn of the year has driven demand for mortgages, they say.
The rise in demand must prompt an acceleration in building, the NAEA's managing director, Mark Hayward, said.
"The growing gap between supply and demand is worrying and clearly demonstrates that more needs to be done to plug this," he said.
"The election was full of promises to build more houses, but now those promises need to be put into bricks and mortar to respond to demand."
House seekers and homeowners are being urged to budget for changes in interest rates, which would see many mortgage costs rise.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: "There is a real risk that after more than six years of record low interest rates, many mortgage payers are still living in a false sense of security.
"The reality is that they may have a very short window in which to prepare for coming hikes in interest rates.