£1million-plus homes

Reports just released on residential transactions shows that the number of properties that sold for £1 million and above increased by six percent last year in England and Wales. This increase accounted for 19,100 property transactions across 18 regions despite the extra stamp duty that had been placed on expensive homes.

Land Registry data and estate agent Knight Frank report that Yorkshire had the largest increase in sales of £1 million homes at 40%, with the North West at 36% and the West Midlands at 19%.

Price growth for the East of Britain grew at an annual rate 5.2% for 2017.

The only location that had a drop in sales of £1 million homes was in the East Midlands with a 23% decrease.

London still holds nearly 60% of the most expensive properties sales for 2017 with Mansion Global reporting: ‘In posh Kensington and Chelsea, £1 million or more was paid for 64% of all properties sold in 2017. Along with Westminster—where 51% of all sales last year were above £1 million, these were the only parts of England and Wales in which the majority of properties sold for £1 million or more.’

Jonathan Harris, of mortgage brokers Anderson Harris, told the Daily Mail (DM): ‘When it comes to housing, £1m doesn’t always buy you very much, particularly in London and the south-east.’

‘It is no surprise that the number of million pound home sales across the country rose last year, despite the considerable cost of stamp duty on £1million-plus homes.’

‘Some families have no choice but to pay this in order to get the bigger home they need and with house price growth continuing in many parts of the country, albeit at a slower pace than in the past, it is likely that the number of million pound home sales will continue to rise.’

In its research, Lloyds reports over the past decade the number of £1 million home sales has increased by 73%.

Louise Santaana Lloyds’ Banking Group’s in the DM said: ‘The million-pound property market got off to a poor start last year, but made a good recovery in the second half.’

‘Overall, 2017 was slow for the UK economy, with high inflation and low wage growth. But high-end homeowners and investors in many parts of Britain are starting to regain their confidence in the market, with exceptional growth seen in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West of England.’

Market Discounts

A property index analysis by Coutts reports that over half of the prime properties sold in London were below the asking price. The properties in the range of £1 million and £10 million saw discounts of 53% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 42% at the same time in 2017.

The highest discounts, on average 14%, could be found in Bayswater and Maida Vale, Pimlico, Westminster and Victoria and King’s Cross and Islington.

Other locations seeing discounts on asking prices have been in Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth and Chelsea with discounts near 10%.

Sales for London prime property have declined by 24% when compared to the same quarter in 2017 with the Coutts report indicating: “Sales volumes are also currently down as sellers wait for conditions to improve.”

U.K.’s National Association of Estate Agents reports discounts on prime property across Britain are at record levels with 86% sold for less than what the seller was asking.

Zoopla reports that 42% of properties for sale in south-west London have cut asking prices with the largest number of discounted home prices are in Twickenham. Westminster saw reductions at £117,430 and homes in Kensington and Chelsea at £113,491.

Their report says that for all of London homes currently up for sale, 34.6% have discounted the asking price with a reduction of 6% or £62,581 from the original asking price.

Zoopla told the Evening Standard (ES): “At present, nearly a third of properties on the market have been reduced in asking price, with some average discounts eclipsing eight per cent. This should be welcome news for prospective first-time buyers looking to get a foot on the property ladder.”

By Kevin Murphy: www.kevinmurphy.london

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