Drop in million pound property sales

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Surprise dip in luxury end of the housing market

The number of property sales worth at least a million pounds has fallen in the first half of 2015, according to Lloyds Bank.

It recorded a drop in sales of 11% compared to the same period last year – from 6,303 to 5,599, the first decline three years. However there has still been a large 254% rise in million pound home sales over the last 10 years, from just 1,540 sales in the first half of 2005, according to the bank.

The birth of the ‘million pound towns’

In contrast to the overall falls, some expensive areas have bucked the trend, creating the first three ‘million pound towns’ outside London, where the average property has topped the million pound mark. These luxury enclaves include Virginia Water, Cobham and Beaconsfield – the three most expensive towns in Britain according to Lloyds Bank, with eye-wateringly high average house prices of £1,168,992, £1,042,552 and £1,003,367 respectively.

Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank, said:

“The number of homes sold for over £1m has fallen sharply over the past year, with a pronounced slowdown in the prime and Central London market.

“However, the regional picture is much more mixed and we’re seeing the emergence of towns where the average price is at least £1m. Whilst there are several London neighbourhoods where prices are already at this elevated level, outside of the capital this is a first.”

Fewer London sales

The Lloyds Bank resarch also showed that sales of million pound homes in London fell by 15% from 4,357 to 3,703 in the first six months of this year, the largest decline in the capital since the first half of 2009.

And there was an even larger drop in sales of multi-million pound homes in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier, with sales in the £5m to £10m price range 15% lower, and those selling between £2m and £5m down by a significant 26%. This is likely to be partly due to an increase in Stamp Duty on higher priced properties.

Two-thirds (66%) of all million pound home sales in the UK are in London, while outside southern England, the highest number of million pound sales were in Edinburgh (63) and Cheshire East (23).