Sales of £1m homes fall 5%
The number of houses sold in the £1 million to £2 million price bracket fell by 5% to 6,911 in 2011 according to a report from Lloyds TSB based on figures from the Land Registry.
The figures represent the first annual fall in million-pound sales since 2009.
In contrast, sales of homes priced above £2 million increased last year to 1,518, the highest level on record.
However, future growth in sales of multi-million pound properties is likely to be hampered by the rise in stamp duty on this group, from five per cent to seven per cent, as announced in the March budget.
Across the UK as a whole, 0.2 per cent of properties are valued at over £2 million, but the proportion increases to 1.3 per cent in London.
In 2011, 84 per cent of the million pound properties sold in the UK, were located in London and the south-east, and more than 75 per cent of the £2 million or more properties were in the capital.
Across all prices ranges, UK house sales fell 4% to 698,200 last year from 728,550 in 2010.
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said: “The rise in the number of multi-million pound property sales over the past year compares to the weakening picture across the rest of the market, highlighting the strength at the very top end of the housing market.
“Continued demand from wealthy cash rich buyers, both from the UK and overseas, as well as limited supply has meant that this segment of the market remains largely immune from the headwinds facing the vast majority of homebuyers.”
A recent survey by the Halifax suggests that confidence in the housing market is growing.
Almost 40 per cent of respondents to the survey thought that the housing market will improve in 2012.
The most positive region was London, while the North East was most pessimistic.