There were 3,043 million pound property sales in Great Britain in the first half of 2012, according to new research by Lloyds TSB, the smallest total since the first half of 2009 (1,376) and 11 per cent lower than in the same period in 2011.
Sales of million pound homes represent only 1 per cent of total sales in the first six months of 2012 ( in London, 5.2 per cent). Lloyds TSB estimates that there are around 166,000 homes in Great Britain worth at least one million pounds.
The decline in million pound sales in London - a 151 decrease (-7 per cent) from 2,185 in the first half of 2011 to 2,034 in the same period this year - accounted for almost half of the national decline. However, more than two-thirds of all million pound sales in Great Britain in the first half of 2012 were in the capital. Scotland accounted for the highest proportion of million sales (1.7 per cent) outside southern England.
Despite these figures, the number of £5 million property sales continued to increase, rising by 5 per cent to 81 in the first six months of 2012, the third successive annual increase.
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said: "This partly reflects the changing market conditions for those looking to buy such properties including the 40 per cent increase in the stamp duty rate for multi-million pound homes."
The survey also found that
* A quarter of all the million pound homes sold in the first six months of 2012 were in the London local authority districts of Kensington & Chelsea (423) and Westminster (337).
* Edinburgh (22) recorded the highest number of million pound property sales outside southern England.
* Just under half of the 379 local authority districts tracked recorded at least one sale of over a million pounds.
* Over three-quarters of all five million pound plus sales are in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.
There were 51 million pound property sales in Scotland in the first half of 2012, the smallest total since the first half of 2010 (49) and lower than in the same period in 2011 (60), according to figures from Bank of Scotland which estimates that there are around 2,523 homes in Scotland worth at least one million pounds.
Nitesh Patel, Bank of Scotland Housing Economist, said: "The number of homes sold for over £1 million has fallen over the past year, partly reflecting the changing market conditions for those looking to buy such properties. However, despite this, demand from wealthy cash rich buyers both in Scotland and further afield plus the limited supply of such homes, is likely to help support activity at the very top end of the property market."