Sales of million pound properties soared last year, report reveals

Scotland property sales in millions

The number of Scottish million pound property sales in 2010 increased at the fastest rate for three years, according to research by the Bank of Scotland published today (Monday May 02).

Despite this significant increase though, million pound property sales remain 40% below the levels they reached before the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, following a sizable 59% decline in sales between 2007 and 2009. These figures underline the fact that the upper end of the market was significantly affected by the financial crisis, the Bank of Scotland report says.

Sales of million pound properties rose significantly more than total housing transactions in 2010. The 45% increase in million pound home sales in 2010 was over six times the overall increase in sales. In contrast, there was just a 5% increase in the number of sales worth less than £250,000.

Despite this outperformance, million pound sales continue to represent a very small proportion of the total market, accounting for just 0.2% of all sales in Scotland in 2010.

In 2010, Scotland recorded the fifth biggest percentage rise in million pound sales in Great Britain. The West Midlands recorded the biggest percentage increase at 109%, followed by the East of England at 62%.

Wales and the North East of England were the only regions to see a fall in million pound sales, down 25% and 19% respectively, but the report points out that the total number of million pound sales in both areas is very low. Overall, 83% of all million pound sales in Great Britain in 2010 were in London and the South East.

Nearly half of all Scottish million pound property sales were in Edinburgh with 70 properties sold for at least one million pounds in the Scottish capital in 2010. This was significantly higher than anywhere else in Scotland and the highest in Britain outside of southern England. Edinburgh accounted for 47% of all million pound sales in 2010. Aberdeen City, at 10 properties, recorded the second highest number of sales. Three quarters of all local authority districts in Scotland saw at least one sale of over a million pounds in 2010.

‘The number of properties sold for over £1 million has risen substantially over the past year, reflecting the strength of the very top end of the housing market. Edinburgh still accounts for the lion’s share of all £1 million sales with the capital accounting for almost half of all such sales,’ said Suren Thiru, Bank of Scotland housing economist.

‘Activity in the upper end of the market in Scotland continues to benefit from strong demand from wealthy buyers from outside Scotland and limited supply. In contrast, the level of activity across the wider housing market remains subdued,’ Thiru added.

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