While fully available stock for sale hit a new record low, valuation requests from homeowners rose 19% compared with last December.
The price of property coming onto the market has fallen by 0.7% (£2,234) in December, according to Rightmove.
However, Rightmove forecast prices to rise by another 5% in 2022.
While fully available stock for sale hit a new record low, valuation requests from homeowners have risen 19% compared with last December.
Rightmove said strong buyer demand will carry forward into 2022, with November showing buyer numbers 41% up on subdued 2019, and still 3% up on 2020.
With two months of data yet to be reported, 2021 has already seen the highest level of completed home sales since 2007, and Rightmove said it expects 1.5 million for the full year.
Seven out of 10 properties advertised on Rightmove are currently marked as sold subject to contract, compared with two out of 10 in 2012.
Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said: “The kind of frenzied market we’ve seen in the last 18 months happens only a few times in most homeowners’ buying and selling lifetimes, exacerbated by the even rarer event of a global pandemic pushing homes higher up most people’s priorities.
"While the pandemic is still having an ever-changing impact on society as we head into the new year, we expect a housing market moving closer to normal during the course of 2022.
"A return to a less frenetic market due to more choice, and forecast slightly higher interest rates, will suit many movers who have held back during the last 18 hectic months.
"With a jump in the number of owners requesting valuations from agents with a view to marketing their homes, it looks like many of this group are now gearing up to make it a new year resolution to move, so more buyer choice could now be on the cards.
"A rise in interest rates is likely next year, and whilst a rise is often regarded as unhelpful to the market, a slowing of the fast pace of sales, and associated pace of price rises, will help the return to more normality that will suit many movers.
"Buyer demand and market momentum remain strong going into 2022, with November showing buyer numbers 41% up on the election-subdued 2019, and still 3% up on booming 2020.
“Agents report that some previously hesitant sellers look to be lining up to launch soon, taking advantage of the traditional Rightmove Boxing Day bounce in buyer demand, as attention quickly turns from picking over turkey leftovers to picking suitable properties.
"Others will look to follow another traditional pattern and come to market early in the New Year, allowing plenty of time for them to find a buyer and help the under-pressure legal process which is handling massive volumes.
"Those who have been working out their finances as part of getting sale-ready will obviously hope to achieve the highest possible price.
"However, despite high demand, buyers will have limits to what they can afford or are prepared to pay.
"In addition, with the availability of stock so low, any property that sticks around stands out like a sore thumb and goes stale pretty quickly.
"Reigniting interest in a property that possible buyers have been ignoring as stale and over-priced often takes some bigger price reductions to below what could have been a successful initial asking price.
"Good local estate agents will have evidence for justifying the right asking price in your local area, as whilst it’s good to get ahead of the rest as a New Year resolution seller, setting too high an asking price may mean that your resolution to move in 2022 is broken.”