The number of prime residential housing transactions have increased in the past 20 years thanks to rising property prices, mortgage broker Private Finance has found.
In 1999, there were 1,254 transactions for residential properties valued at £1m and above.
By 2018 this figure had risen to 15,445.
This comes despite a 27% fall in the total volume of residential transactions in England and Wales over the same period.
Simon Checkley, managing director at Private Finance, said: “In the 20 years since Private Finance was founded, the housing market has undergone a radical transformation, with average house prices in particular almost unrecognisable.
“Transactions of houses in higher price brackets has soared in accordance with rising prices, creating a much bigger and more complex prime market.
“Though activity in the housing market this year has been subdued, the prime market remains supported by years of consistent growth.
“Less activity is to be expected given the ongoing political and economic uncertainty affecting the country, which has impacted the number of prime transactions in the capital in particular.
“However, once Brexit has reached its conclusion, we anticipate a rush of pent-up demand as the spectre of uncertainty is at least somewhat removed.
“Recent price falls will make UK prime property an attractive prospect for overseas buyers, and domestic buyers will be looking to get their property plans back on track.
“Independent mortgage advice is vital for prime buyers who often have complex income structures and, with such high values of stake, could skim thousands of pounds off their monthly repayments by selecting a competitive deal.”
The number of transactions for residential properties valued at £5m or more rose from just 22 in 1999 to 323 in 2018.
Kensington and Chelsea remained the most expensive area to buy over the last 20 years, with the average house price increasing by 31% from £309,698 to £1,295,861.
Although the property market has become reportedly more expensive in the past 20 years, average mortgage rates have become more affordable.
The average 2-year fixed rate at 75% LTV in 1999 was 6.19% and today is now as low as 1.64%.
Similarly, a 5-year fixed deal at 75% LTV is now just 1.92%, compared to 6.64% in 1999.