House sellers are achieving 96.2 per cent of their asking price typically, marking the highest proportion seen in a decade as buyers chase a scarce supply of homes.

In London, sellers are getting around 99.3 per cent of their asking price and across every region the figure is above 93 per cent, pointing to further price rises, the report by property analyst Hometrack found for the month of March.

Across England and Wales, the length of time properties are typically spending on the market before being snapped up has dropped to just under eight weeks for the first time since 2007.

And homes in London are taking just over two and a half weeks on average to sell.

House prices increased by 0.6 per cent month-on-month in March, which is slightly down on a 0.7 percent rise in February.

But for the second month in a row half of postcodes across the country reported rising property values.

Prices rose by 0.2 per cent in Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West, by 0.3 per cent in the West Midlands and the North East, by 0.4 per cent in the East Midlands, by 0.6 per cent in Wales, by 0.7 per cent in the South East and London and by 0.8 per cent in the South West and East Anglia.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said the real driver of higher house prices is record low mortgage rates and strong demand from first-time buyers and investors who have no property to sell.

Toughened mortgage rules are set to come into force next month which will mean lenders have to make sure that people can not only afford their mortgage repayments now, but also when interest rates eventually start to rise.

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