Central Banks

Bank of England leaves rates; asset purchases unchanged

Bank of England leaves interest rates on hold

The Bank of England left interest rates and asset purchases unchanged on Thursday, despite building pressure for it to act to cool the housing market.

At midday, the central bank announced it would keep the base rate at a record low of 0.5 percent and maintain the size of its asset purchase program at £375 billion ($636 billion).

This was as expected, and followed similar inaction last month.

However, concerns are rising that low interest rates are helping propel house price inflation. Nationwide's index showed prices rose 1.2 percent in April, although the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has reported that prices eased somewhat in the month.

Read MoreEx-UK chancellors warn of housing bubble danger

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Berenberg's chief economist, Rob Wood, said the central bank needed to start hiking interest rates – although he forecast it would not actually do so until November at the earliest.

"If the central bank takes no action it risks being asleep at the wheel, allowing another (housing) bubble to develop. A bubble may already be developing in London," Wood said in a research note on Thursday.

The Bank of England announcement was followed by the European Central Bank equivalent at 12:45 p.m. and President Mario Draghi's news conference at 1:30 p.m.

Read MoreECB leaves keyinterest rate unchanged