Million pound home sales rise at fastest rate since 2006

Published ¤ 03/05/2011 15:22:08

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The number of million pound property sales in 2010 increased at the fastest rate for four years, according to research by Lloyds TSB.

There were 7,185 million pound property sales in Great Britain in 2010: 54% higher than in 2009. This is the largest annual increase since 2006 (62%) and suggests a real resurgence at the very top end of the housing market. In total, there are now an estimated 184,000 homes in Britain worth at least one million pounds.
Despite this significant increase, million pound property sales remain 13% below the levels they reached before the onset of the financial crisis in 2007 (8,216), following a sizable 43% 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.
Million pound property sales outperform the rest of the market
Sales of million pound properties rose significantly more than total housing transactions in 2010. The 54% increase in million pound home sales in 2010 was nine times the overall increase in sales (6%). In contrast, there was a 1% fall 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 1% of all sales in Britain in 2010.
West Midlands sees largest rise in million pound sales
The geographical distribution of million pound home sales also reflects the wider north-south divide in the housing market with London and the South East accounting for 83% of all million pound sales in Great Britain in 2010. Nonetheless, there are signs of substantial growth elsewhere: the West Midlands recorded the biggest percentage increase in million pound sales (109%), followed by the East of England (62%), while London also saw a marked rise (56%).
Wales (-25%) and the North East (-19%) were the only regions to see a fall in million pound sales, although the total number of million pound sales in both areas is very low.
Substantial increase in multi-million pound home sales
There were 1,420 sales of properties costing at least two million pounds in 2010; 62% higher than in 2009 (878). Three quarters of all two million pound plus sales were in London (1,051). The number of five million pound properties sales rose by 79% from 70 in 2009 to 125 in 2010.
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said: "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. A small number of areas in London still account for the lion’s share of all £1 million sales, with housing market activity in such locations continuing to benefit from strong demand from wealthy international buyers and limited supply. In contrast, the level of activity across the wider housing market remains subdued."
Paul Skinner, managing director of PKS, an independent mortgage broker based in Odihma, Hampshire, also commented: "Living in an affluent area, we have seen a substantial increase in larger mortgage requirements. The majority of our mortgages are now for over £300,000, much higher than previous years. As specilaists in large mortgages, we can provide our clients with an outstanding service, as well as many bespoke solutions from some of the private banks. We also offer tailored insurance products for our high net worth clients."
If you are looking to buy a large property, or need a large mortgage, speak to PKS, the large mortgage specialists.

PKS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in respect of mortgage and general insurance business only.
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