Asking prices for UK houses stagnate in June, Rightmove says

A rainbow is seen over apartments in Wandsworth on the River Thames

By Andy Bruce

(Reuters) - Asking prices for British homes coming to the market were flat this month, adding to signs of a recent cooling off in the housing market upswing, a survey from property market website Rightmove showed on Monday.

The company said the average asking price was 375,110 pounds ($475,827) for property put on sale between May 12 and June 8, down 21 pounds from a month earlier and statistically a flat reading.

The Rightmove data, which is not seasonally adjusted, typically rises in the June period, although last year's reading for the month was also flat.

Other gauges of the housing market have shown slowing momentum, linked to the dwindling prospect of an imminent Bank of England interest rate cut.

Stronger-than-expected inflation data last month in Britain and the United States prompted investors to push back their bets on the start date for BoE rate cuts late into 2024. Previously the BoE's June 20 meeting had been regarded as a distinct possibility.

Economists and investors think the BoE will leave interest rates on hold this Thursday.

Rightmove said the announcement of a July 4 national election from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month had probably not resulted in a big change in market conditions.

"However, some potential sellers appear to be watching and waiting rather than taking action, evidenced by a dip in the number of new sellers coming to market, particularly at the top-end," said Tim Bannister, director of property science at Rightmove.

Affordability is a hot political issue ahead of the election, with house prices up by around a fifth since the last election in December 2019.

Both Sunak's Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party, which is far ahead in the opinion polls, have said they will ramp up house-building if elected.

($1 = 0.7883 pounds)

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by David Milliken)