The number of properties selling for over £1 million rose in 2012, reaching the highest level since the height of the housing boom in 2007, according to latest research from Lloyds TSB.
The total number of sales of properties that cost at least £1 million in Great Britain rose by 2% from 7,270 in 2011 to 7,397 in 2012. 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. 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. There were 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 (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 (14%), the East Midlands (12%) and Greater London (6%) were the only regions to see a rise between 2011 and 2012.
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 (-71%), followed by the north east (-40%).
Nine of the 10 local authority districts (LADs) that recorded the highest number of million pound sales in 2012 are in the capital. Elmbridge in Surrey was the only LAD outside London in the top 10.
24% of all million pound properties sold in Great Britain in 2012 were in Kensington & Chelsea (934) and Westminster (856). Five London boroughs accounted for 41% of all million pound sales in the country.
City of Edinburgh (50) and Cheshire East (32) recorded the highest number of million pound sales in 2012 outside southern England.
Nitesh Patel, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said: “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. 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.”