House Prices are: Top of the pops!

A shortage of homes and high demand for properties have combined to drive asking prices to a new record high, according to Rightmove. The property website said new sellers' asking prices increased by 1.6%, or £4,381, month-on-month in April to reach £286,133 on average across England and Wales. The figure beats a previous peak reached last June.

Pushing up prices was a shortage of homes on the market, Rightmove said, with the number of newly marketed properties so far in 2015 down 4% from the same period last year. That contrasted with rising demand as visits to Rightmove's website rose by almost 20% to an all-time high in March. Rightmove's findings echo other surveys which have suggested that house price growth in Britain is picking up again after slowing last year when regulators introduced tougher checks to secure mortgages.

Experts have suggested that some sellers could be awaiting the outcome of the General Election before putting their home on the market. Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: "Hesitation to sell and the use of property as a long-term investment are factors in this month's new price record.