Land Registry reports fall in multi-million home sales
The number of £2m-plus homes sold in England and Wales fell to 103 in December 2011, 18 per cent lower than the figure for December 2010.
Eighty of the £2m-plus properties sold during the month were located in London, where prices have been rising faster than in other parts of the UK.
The most popular price bracket in December was £100,000 to £150,000, with a total of 14,385 homes in this range sold.
These properties benefited from the 1% stamp duty holiday which ends tomorrow, when homes sold for more than £125,000 will be subject to the tax.
In Wednesday’s budget the chancellor announced that the level of stamp duty on residential properties over £2m would increase to 7 per cent with immediate effect.
It was previously 5 per cent for all properties over £1 million.
The new charge means that stamp duty on a £5 million property will now cost £350,000, an increase of £100,000.
The Chancellor has also introduced measures to ensure that stamp duty is paid on properties purchased through an offshore company
A loophole in the law previously allowed wealthy purchasers to avoid paying stamp duty by purchasing properties in this way.
However, in future such properties will be subject to stamp duty of 15 per cent.
The move is expected to raise £65 million a year for the Treasury.
The Land Registry said that February was the fourteenth conservative month of declining house prices, although the rate of fall slowed from the previous month.
On an annual basis, house prices fell by 0.6 per cent in February, compared with 1.1 per cent in January.
However prices increased in London and the south of England.
The average price of a house in England and Wales was £161,588 in February, compared with £161,368 in January.