Number of £1m-plus home sales up as buyers have to dig deeper

The number of million-pound house sales across the country rose last year, according to a new report.

Land Registry data analysed by estate agent Knight Frank shows that the number of £1m houses in England and Wales grew by 6% last year, with 19,100 properties selling for over the million-pound mark.

The largest annual increase in £1m-plus plus sales last year was in Yorkshire, which saw an increase of 40% on the previous year, followed by the north-west (up 36%) and west midlands (up 19%).

The company’s analysis found that London was still responsible for 60% of sales over £1m, but highlighted that regional house price growth outside the south-east had been notably strong.

“Our analysis of Land Registry data – which allows us to look at the distribution of sales across the country – shows the most notable rises in activity have come in prime markets outside of London and the traditional commuter zone,” the company said in a statement.

There were 18 local authorities outside London where there were 100 or more £1m sales, according to the Knight Frank analysis. Elmbridge in Surrey was the region with the largest number, followed by Windsor & Maidenhead and the Chilterns.

In 2017, house price growth in the east of England stood at 5.2%, with the most active prime markets in St Albans, Epping Forest and Cambridge, while Cheshire East was the only region in the north where more than 100 £1m sales were agreed in 2017, albeit up 38% on 2016.

The largest percentage increase in million-pound sales outside London last year was in Cheltenham, up 96%, Birmingham, up 86% and North Hertfordshire, which grew by 77%. Woking (58%), Wycombe (58%) and the Cotswolds (41%) all witnessed noteworthy growth.

The report concluded that Kensington & Chelsea saw £1m or more paid for 64% of all properties sold in 2017, meaning that, along with Westminster (51%), these were the only places in England and Wales where the majority of properties that sold did so for over the £1m mark.

An analysis of the Scottish market, conducted separately by Bank of Scotland, found that million-pound property sales north of the border increased by 4% in 2017, with Edinburgh seeing the third highest volume of transactions in the UK outside London and the south-east.

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