The number of properties selling for over £1 million in the UK increased in 2012, reaching the highest level since the height of the housing boom in 2007, according to new research. The total number of sales of properties that cost at least £1 million rose by 2% from 7,270 in 2011 to 7,397 in 2012, the latest analysis from Lloyds TSB based on figures from the Land Registry and Registers of Scotland shows. However, million pound sales in 2012 were still 10% lower than in 2007 (8,233), at the height of the housing boom.
The million pound sector outperformed the rest of the market with sales under £1 million falling by 3% in 2012 and sales of a million pounds and more accounted for 1.1% of all national sales. However, sales of multi million pound properties fell slightly in 2012 with 1,584 property sales worth at least two million pounds in 2012, a decline of 2% from 1,620 sales in 2011.
London and the South East continued to account for the overwhelming majority, some 85% of all million pound sales in Great Britain in 2012. Million pound sales are a much greater proportion of the market in London than elsewhere in Britain, representing 5.6% of all sales in the capital in 2012.
Scotland, the East Midlands and Greater London were the only regions to see a rise between 2011 and 2012 with an increase of 14%, 12% and 6% respectively. The remaining eight regions in Great Britain recorded a fall in million pound sales in 2012. Wales saw the biggest drop in million pound sales, down 71%, followed by the north east, down 40%. Nine of the 10 local authority districts (LADs) that recorded the highest number of million pound sales in 2012 were in London – Elmbridge in Surrey was the only LAD outside London in the top 10.
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Nearly a quarter of all million pound properties sold in Great Britain in 2012 were in Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster and five London boroughs accounted for more than two in five, 41%, of all million pound sales in the country. The City of Edinburgh and Cheshire East recorded the highest number of million pound sales in 2012 outside southern England. ‘The number of property sales over £1 million increased in 2012, taking the total to its highest level since the height of the housing market boom five years earlier,’ said Nitesh Patel, Lloyds TSB housing economist.
‘Strong demand from wealthy, cash rich buyers, both from the UK and overseas, as well as limited supply has supported this sector of the market. As a result, sales at the very top end of the market are much closer to their peak levels than the market as a whole,’ Patel added.