Number of £1m house sales has doubled in Scotland

The majority of properties involved are in Edinburgh, where there were 63 sales. Picture: Kenny Smith
The majority of properties involved are in Edinburgh, where there were 63 sales. Picture: Kenny Smith
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THE sale of houses worth at least £1 million has more than doubled over the last year, according to a report.

There were 111 sales of more than £1 million in Scotland in the first half of this year, compared to 43 in the same period in 2014.

The majority of properties involved are in Edinburgh, where there were 63 sales, the Bank of Scotland million-pound property report found.

The next highest areas were East Lothian, with nine seven-figure sales, Aberdeen with eight and East Renfrewshire and Glasgow, where there were four each.

Four council areas - East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire - went from having no million-pound sales in 2014 to three or four in the first half of this year.

The large increase in activity is in contrast to the rest of the UK, where there was an 11 per cent decrease in £1 million sales over the last year from 6,303 in 2014 to 5,599 this year.

London accounts for more than half of million-pound property sales in the UK, with 3,703 in the first half of 2015.

Experts believe changes to stamp duty south of the border may have caused the fall in sales.

Bank of Scotland economist Nitesh Patel said: “The amount of homes in Scotland that have sold for more than a million pounds has more than doubled within a year, which is a stark contrast to Great Britain as a whole, which has seen an 11 per cent decrease.

“Sales south of the border may have been impacted by the new stamp duty rates last December; whilst the equivalent land and building transaction tax came into force for Scottish homebuyers only in April.

“Edinburgh, East Lothian and Aberdeen continue to dominate the market share of million-pound property sales.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that homeowners are pumping ever more cash into their properties as mortgage lending topped £20 billion in September.

That is £200 million more than in August and £2.2 billion above last September’s total, as cheap deals and low inflation leave people feeling confident enough to borrow bigger sums.

Gross lending between July and September stood at £61.4 billion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). This is 18 per cent higher than the £52.2 billion from the second quarter, and 12 per cent higher the third quarter in 2014, when lending totalled £55 billion.

CML economist Mohammad Jamei said he expects lending to slow towards year end as more people finally hit the limit of what they can afford to borrow.

“Mortgage lending is currently enjoying its best spell since 2008,” he said. “As we expected, the second half of 2015 has seen a pick-up in activity in the housing market after a slow start to the year. Low inflation, strong wage growth, falling unemployment and competitive mortgage deals are all helping to support housing demand.”