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UK house prices hit record high in May despite slowdown in London

Asking prices for U.K. houses reached a record high in May despite a slowdown in London, data from property portal Rightmove showed.

Average asking prices rose 0.8% month over month to £308,075. In annual terms, prices were up 1.1% as annual house price growth in the East Midlands, West Midlands and Wales surpassed 4%.

Prices in London and the South East slipped, with the latter posting its first annual fall since 2011. This suggests that the softening in the London market is spreading to its commuter belt, said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.

"While this gives buyers in the South East the opportunity to negotiate prices down, in some of the more buoyant areas of the country the options to do so are more limited by a shortage of suitable properties on the market," Shipside said.

The number of year-to-date sales agreed fell 5.4% in annual terms, with the South East, East of England and Greater London posting the largest declines.