Friday, 27 April 2012 8:52 AM
Sales of homes costing more than £1m have fallen for the first time in two years, says Lloyds TSB.
Total sales in the seven-figure price bracket were down five per cent to 6,911 in 2011. That follows a 55 per cent rise to 7,256 in 2010 and is out of an estimated total of 165,000 £1m-plus homes in Britain.
Most of the £1m-plus sales were in London with only Elmbridge in Surrey making the top ten.
In contrast, sales of homes worth over £2m rose five per cent to 1,518 in 2011. That was two per cent higher than at the peak of the market in 2007.
Lloyds TSB estimates there are only 38,000 properties in this price bracket, which has been subject to seven per cent stamp duty since the budget.
Over three-quarters of sales were in London (1,161) and half in just three boroughs: Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden.
Sales of properties worth over £5m rose 22 per cent from 128 in 2010 to 156 in 2011, confirming the strength at the top end of the market in a number of recent surveys.
In contrast, sales in the market as a whole fell by four per cent from 728,500 in 2010 to 698,200 in 2011.
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB housing economist, said: "The rise in the number of multi-million pound property sales over the past year compares to the weakening picture across the rest of the market, highlighting the strength at the very top end of the housing market.
"Continued demand from wealthy cash rich buyers, both from the UK and overseas, as well as limited supply has meant that this segment of the market remains largely immune from the headwinds facing the vast majority of homebuyers."