A RECORD 33 sales of homes worth at least £1 million took place in Britain every day typically during the first half of this year, research has revealed.
And in a reflection of the huge differences in property values across the country, the figures from Lloyds Bank show that more million pound properties exchanged hands in St Albans in Hertfordshire in the first half of 2014 than in the whole of Scotland.
Lloyds found that 6,143 transactions involving million pound homes took place during the first six months of 2014 as the housing market recovery took off, which is a 46% uplift compared with the first half of 2013.
The findings across Britain mean that 33 million pound transactions took place a day on average during the first six months of 2014, which is the highest number Lloyds has recorded in its research.
Seven out of 10 (70%) million pound house sales that took place in the first half of 2014 were in London, and nearly one in four (23%) were in the prime property locations of Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster.
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Beyond London, St Albans, Elmbridge in Surrey and Bath were places where million pound property sales were found to be particularly strong, with 66, 201 and 37 such transactions taking place respectively in these areas in the first six months of 2014.
Outside southern England, Cheshire East, which includes the market towns of Nantwich, Knutsford and Sandbach, and Edinburgh were named as million pound house sales hotspots, with 31 and 20 sales taking place respectively in the first half of the year.
On a regional level, the largest percentage rise in million pound home sales compared with the first half of 2013 was in the North East, which has seen a 150% increase, although this was from a relatively low base. Fifteen sales of million pound properties took place in the North East in the first six months of 2014.
Some 43 million pound properties changed hands in Scotland in the first half of this year, which is a 5% year-on-year increase.
Meanwhile, seven sales of homes worth £1 million-plus took place in Wales, which was the lowest number of any region but still a 75% increase on a year earlier. Three of those sales took place in Cardiff.
Multimillion-pound property sales are also becoming more common. Across Britain, there were also 1,360 homes sold for at least £2 million in the first half of 2014, marking a 43% increase on the same period in 2013.
Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The number of homes sold for at least £1 million is at a record high, with this sector of the housing market growing by almost half in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2013.
“Property values in prime locations have been boosted by growing demand from wealthy, and often cash rich, buyers from the UK and overseas, as well as a limited supply of such properties.”
Lloyds used Land Registry statistics covering England and Wales, which go back to 1995, and data from the Registers of Scotland going back to 2009 to make the findings.
Yesterday, building society Nationwide reported that house prices across the UK reached a fresh all-time high of £189,333 on average in October, although it also said the housing market appears to have lost some momentum.
Here is the number of million pound property sales that took place in each region in the first half of 2014 and the percentage increase compared with the first half of 2013, according to research by Lloyds Bank:
• North East, 15, 150%
• North West, 64, 28%
• Yorkshire and the Humber, 21, 17%
• East Midlands, 36, 80%
• West Midlands, 50, 100%
• East of England, 362, 43%
• London, 4,259, 47%
• South East, 1,096, 41%
• South West, 190, 84%
• Wales, 7, 75%
• Scotland, 43, 5%
• Britain, 6,143, 46%
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