Edinburgh recorded one of the highest levels of million- pound home sales outside the south of England in the first half of this year – but Scotland still saw a significantly lower rise in the number of million-plus properties than anywhere else in the UK.
A report into the sale of properties costing more than £1 million found that almost half of such transactions occurred in the capital, with a further 22 elsewhere in Scotland.
But the number of £1m-plus properties north of the Border rose by just 5 per cent, while UK-wide it rocketed by 45 per cent, according to Lloyds Bank. There were only two more £1m-plus sales last year than the previous year, taking the total to 43.
Property experts warned that the figure could see little growth in the coming year, following the introduction of the new land and buildings transactions tax, which is due to replace the stamp duty next April.
Mark Hordern, chairman of Solicitors Property Centres Scotland, said: “Sales in Scotland above that price level are likely to lag other parts of the UK.
“It will be interesting to see what the figures look like this time next year once the new land and buildings transactions tax is in place. It will substantially increase the tax paid on properties over £1m and there are concerns that might suppress the number of sales at this price level and so affect the amount of tax raised.”
Outside London and the south of England, Edinburgh recorded the second largest number of £1m-plus sales, with 20, while Chester clocked up the highest figure at 32.
All regions across the UK recorded an increase in sales in 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier.
The largest percentage rises in million-pound home sales were in the north-east of England, with a 150 per cent increase, and the West Midlands where sales doubled.
The highest number of £1m-plus home sales was in London, where seven out of ten such transactions occurred in the first six months of 2014 – particularly in the upmarket boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.
Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The number of homes sold for at least £1m is at a record high, with this sector of the housing market growing by almost a 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.”
Homes selling for at least £2m accounted for 22 per cent of all million-pound-plus home sales in the first half of 2014. This proportion had edged down marginally from 23 per cent in the same period a year earlier.