Sales of £1m properties in sharp decline
Sales of properties worth at least £1m were down by 11% compared to the same period in 2014 – from 6,303 to 5,599 – which is in stark contrast to the 46% increase seen in the first half of 2014.
This is the first decline in such sales since the first half of 2012 when the number of property transactions fell 7% compared to the same period in 2011.
Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The number of homes sold for over £1m has fallen sharply over the past year, with a pronounced slowdown in the prime and central London market.
“This may be the effect of the new stamp duty rates introduced last December and uncertainty generated by the election in May.
“However, the regional picture is much more mixed and we’re seeing the emergence of towns where the average price is at least £1m.”
Virginia Water, Cobham and Beaconsfield are Britain’s most expensive towns, with an average house price of over £1m. Virginia Water is now Britain’s most expensive town with an average house price of £1,168,992.
In Scotland the sale of million pound homes has more than doubled from 43 in H1 2014 to 111 properties a year later, an increase of 158%. It follows the recent introduction of a new devolved Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland at a higher top-end rate than UK stamp duty.
Properties selling for more than £750,000 are now subject to 12% tax.
The only other regions to have seen an increase in sales were Yorkshire and the Humber (10%) and the East of England (8%). In Wales transactions rose by 29%, albeit from a low base.