Million pound home sales on the up in 2010

However, the number of million pound properties sold in the first half of the year was 18% lower than in the same period in 2007 following a 63% decline between the first halves of 2007 and 2009.

Whilst million pound sales continue to represent a very small proportion of the total market in Britain, the share of all sales has risen from 0.5% in the first half of 2009 to 0.9% in the first six months of 2010.

London unsurprisingly has the highest proportion of million pound sales, at 4.5%.

Martin Ellis, Halifax Housing Economist, said:

"The sizeable rise in the number of million pound properties sold over the past year has been driven by a small number of London neighbourhoods that continue to account for the vast majority of £1 million sales. The increase reflects both strong demand from wealthy foreign buyers looking to benefit from the weakness in sterling and the relatively strong performance of the housing market in London and the South East over the past year."

Additional findings:

• 89% of all million pound sales in Great Britain in the first six months of 2010 were in London and the South East; slightly higher than the 86% recorded in the first half of 2007.
• London recorded the biggest percentage increase in million pound sales over the past year (134%).
• West Midlands (127%), South East (112%) and East Anglia (100%) also saw million pound property sales double.
• Wales and the North had fewer million pound sales in the first half of 2010 than in the first half of 2009, although the number of sales in both areas is very low.
• Kensington and Chelsea delivered the largest number of million pound properties in the first half of 2010 (398).
• Elmbridge in Surrey had the highest number of million pound sales outside London.
• Edinburgh was the only local authority area outside the south in the 25 local authority districts in Britain with the highest number of million pound sales.

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*Based on assumption that proportion of sales is representative of the entire owner occupied housing stock.