Sales of £2m-plus homes rise by 78%


Sales of homes worth more than £2 million have soared by nearly 80% year-on-year, but house prices generally have remained flat, Land Registry figures showed today.

There were 160 sales of homes worth £2 million or more in June, the latest month for which the figures are available, representing a 78% increase on the same month in 2011, despite the introduction of a stamp duty rate of 7% on homes in this bracket in April this year.

The vast majority of these sales took place in London, which has attracted wealthy overseas investors to the "safe haven" as the eurozone turmoil continues.

The number of homes sold for more than £1 million across England and Wales was also up by 35% year on year, with 647 sales in total, while sales of homes in the average house price bracket, worth between £150,000 and £200,000, were down by 4%.

House prices were at a standstill in August month-on-month, with typical prices standing at £163,376, just 0.7% higher than a year ago.

London showed by far the strongest price growth year-on-year, with a 5% increase taking average prices to £364,059. The South East showed the next highest annual increase, with a 2% rise pushing prices to £211,050.

Wales saw the biggest house price fall year-on-year, with prices dropping by 3.2% to reach £115,887 on average.

Lenders have tightened their borrowing criteria amid the weak economy, making the struggle to get on the housing ladder even tougher for many people.

But a Bank of England report published earlier this week found that a recently-launched £80 billion scheme to kickstart lending has helped to increase mortgage availability.

However, concerns have been raised that more needs to be done to give a helping hand to people with lower deposits.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has called for the Government to go further to kickstart the housing market, which could include increasing the tax-free Isa allowance to help people to save more for a deposit.

Mark Hayward, president of the NAEA, said a lack of access to mortgage finance, concerns over big deposits, and "prohibitive" stamp duty levels are holding many prospective homeowners back.

He said: "This is a situation we have been striving to encourage the Government to change for far too long."


Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Property search
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk