Million Pound House Sales Rise In First Half Of 2016

The number of million-pound houses rose in the first half of the year – but the increase coincided with a fall in the average price of high-end properties.

The number of homes selling for at least £1m reached 6,684 between January and June, up from 5,946 in the same period last year.

The 12% rise included 47 sales in Edinburgh, 31 in Trafford, 29 in Cheshire East and 10 in Harrogate.

But most were in and around central London – with 8% of all million-or-more sales in Kensington and Chelsea, and another 8% in Westminster.

Among further regional variations, 16 homes were sold for at least £1m in Stratford-upon-Avon in the first six months of 2016 – compared with only 13 in the whole of Wales.

Scotland is the only part of the UK where sales of high-end properties fell – by a third.

The average million-plus price is now £1,727,327, according to research from Lloyd’s Bank.

That is down from £1,862,578 in the first half of 2014.

Stamp duty changes – introduced in late 2014 – made the tax cheaper for 98% of buyers.

But it was the opposite for those at the higher end of the market.

The levy became more expensive on any property priced over £937,500 – leading to a reduction in overall values here.

Meanwhile, the number of “million-pound-towns” has dropped from three to one.

In the first half of 2015, Cobham, Beaconsfield and Virginia Water all claimed that title.

Now, Virginia Water has it alone – with the average price of a property in the exclusive area bordering Windsor Great Park standing at £1,082,286.

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