The Dutch housing market, which has seen years of booming prices, showed the first signs of a possible easing in the first quarter of 2022, the national association of real estate agents said on Thursday.

Prices were still up 13.7% from a year earlier, the NVM said in its quarterly report, but they were down by 2.1% from the fourth quarter of 2021 at an average price of 428,000 euros ($465,792.40).

The number of houses available for sale also increased slightly.

A number of factors have contributed to boom in house prices, including construction that has structurally been unable to keep up with demand, and buyers benefiting from low interest rates increases.

On Wednesday, data reported by mortgage lenders showed there had been a record number of mortgage requests in the first quarter as home owners with variable rate mortgages rushed to lock in low rates.

Rates for Dutch 20-year mortgages have risen by almost one full percentage point to 2.8% by the end of March since reaching lows of 1.85% in October. ($1 = 0.9189 euros)

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)