By Daniel Hunter
House prices have risen to an all-time high average, according to Rightmove.
The UK's biggest property listing website said that the average house price is now slightly above £286,000 for the first time.
A report by Rightmove said that a lack of sellers and a surge in the number of people looking to buy in April has pushed prices up.
It comes as political party leaders make their various pledges to tackle the UK's housing crisis. Last week, David Cameron announced an extension of the Right to Buy scheme. Critics have suggested that it could lead to further house price inflation.
Rightmove said it had its busiest ever month in March in terms of website visitors. The number of aspiring buyers was up 20%, but the number of homes being listed for sale was down 4%.
“Record high housing demand and an under-supply of homes have delivered a new all-time high in the price of property coming to market in the month before the election,” said Miles Shipside, a director at Rightmove.
“The high cost of housing is a big concern for many home-hunters, so the contents of the respective party manifestos and well thought-out sustainable solutions to the lack of affordable housing supply will be high on many voters’ agendas too.”
A shortage of available homes has long been accepted as a key reason behind prices which rose particularly quickly in early 2014.
“Failure to meet housebuilding targets since the eighties, nineties and noughties to match forecast housing demand has been a major factor in upwards price pressure both in the property sales and private rented sectors,” Mr Shipside said.