The number of million pound plus properties sold in UK reaches highest since 2007

The number of property sales in the UK worth at least a million pounds has risen to its highest level since the peak of the housing market in 2007, according to new research by Lloyds TSB. There were 3,375 million pound property sales in the first half of 2011, equivalent to 19 sales everyday over the period. This is the largest total since 2007 and 10% higher than in the same period in 2010.

The 10% increase in million pound home sales in the first half of the year was in marked contrast to the 9% fall in residential property sales as a whole over the period. There are now an estimated 200,000 homes in Britain worth at least one million pounds.

Despite this notable outperformance, million pound sales continue to account for a very minor proportion of the national housing market, representing just 1.1% of total sales in the first half of the year. Even in London, million pound sales account for only 5.7% of all sales. Almost two thirds of all million pound sales in the first six months of 2011 were in London, followed by the South East, East of England and the South West.

All these four regions in southern England, together with the North East and Scotland, recorded an increase in sales in the first six months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.

In contrast, four regions experienced a fall in million pound sales over the past year. The West Midlands saw the biggest decline followed by Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands and the North West.

A quarter of all the million pound homes sold in the first six months of 2011 were in just two local authority districts in London’s Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. Outside southern England, Edinburgh recorded the highest number of million pound property sales over the first six months of the year.

Sales of million pound homes in the first half of 2011 were highest in the postal district of Fulham followed by Hampstead and Chelsea. Weybridge in Surrey had the highest number of million pound sales outside London.

Chelsea recorded the largest number of sales of homes worth at least two million pounds while Belgravia and Knightsbridge has the highest proportion million pound sales in relation to all sales, accounting for more than two thirds, 68%, of all sales in the first six months of 2011.

There were 739 homes sold for at least two million pounds in the first half of 2011, 29% higher than over the first six months of 2010. Homes sold for at least two million pounds accounted for just 0.2% of all sales.

Some 78% of all two million pound plus sales were in London, of which 57% were in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

The number of five million pound plus properties sales increased by 48% to 77 in the first half of 2011 from 52 in the same period in 2010. Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster and Camden accounted for 86% of all such sales.

‘The number of homes sold for at least a £1 million has increased significantly over the past year in marked contrast to the rather more subdued picture across the rest of the housing market. Strong demand from wealthy cash rich buyers both in the UK and from overseas, as well as limited supply of such properties, has helped to boost the level of activity at the very top end of the housing market,’ said Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB housing economist.