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Sales of £1 million homes fall

Sales of £1 million homes fall

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 27/04/2012
First Published: 27/04/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The number of properties selling for over £1 million declined in 2011; but sales of homes worth more than £2 million continued to grow.

The total number ofsales of properties that cost at least £1 million in Great Britain was 5% lower in 2011 (6,911) than in 2010 (7,256).

This compares with a 55% increase in 2010 and was the first annual fall in million pound sales since 2009, figures from Lloyds TSB show.

In total, there are an estimated 165,000 homes in Britain worth at least £1 million.

However, multi-million pound property sales rose to their highest level on record in 2011.There were 1,518 property sales worth at least £2 million in 2011, a rise of 5% from 1,442 sales in 2010.

This is the highest number of sales, in this price bracket, since records began in 1995. Sales of properties topping the £2 million mark were also 2% higher in 2011 than at the peak of the housing market in 2007 (1,484).

In addition, the number of properties selling for over £5 million rose by 22% from 128 in 2010 to 156 in 2011, providing further evidence of the strength of sales at the very top end of the market.

And it was London that was the epicenter of the multi-million pound housing market in the UK.

Over three-quarters (76%) of all two million pound plus sales in 2011 were in the capital (1,161), and more than half of all multi-million pound sales took place in just three boroughs: Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden.

But despite the increase in sales, it is estimated that only 0.2% (38,000) of all homes in Britain are worth at least two million pounds and, therefore, potentially subject to the new 7% stamp duty rate.

Even in London, multi-million pound sales account for only 1.3% of all properties.

"The rise in the number of multi-million pound property sales over the past year compares to the weakening picture across the rest of the market, highlighting the strength at the very top end of the housing market," Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB.

"Continued demand from wealthy cash rich buyers, both from the UK and overseas, as well as limited supply has meant that this segment of the market remains largely immune from the headwinds facing the vast majority of homebuyers."

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