The selling price of brokers looks set to rocket as the number of firms seeking to acquire outstrips those up for sale by 10 to one, a survey on behalf of NIG has predicted.

According to the survey, 30% of brokers said that they intended to acquire another broker in 2006. But only 3% said that they hoped to be bought.

Large regional brokers had the greatest appetite for acquisition with 52% wanting to buy another intermediary. Least interested were national brokers with just 22% registering a wish to acquire.

Geographically, London and the South lead the pack with one in three intending to acquire.

But the percentage falls to a low of only one in five in Scotland.

NIG director of distribution, David Parker, said: "2006 will be an intriguing year for consolidation. With demand far outstripping supply, basic market forces would suggest that the price of those businesses up for sale could rise dramatically and we may see some bidding wars breaking out."