Sales of million pound properties outside London at new high

The number of Londoners who have bought in Bath has doubled this year

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The Independent Online

The number of homes sold for £1 million and more across England and Wales, excluding London, during the first six months of the year was 44 per cent higher than the same period in 2013.

The report from Knight Frank shows that the number of properties worth more than £1 million outside London has increased by more than a third over the last year, with the biggest risers including Elmbridge, Guildford and Windsor and Maidenhead.

In the Midlands and Wales the number of £1m+ sales over the year to June 2014 rose by 78 per cent year-on-year, and in the north by 24 per cent.

The number of Londoners who have bought in Bath has doubled so far this year compared to 2013. They also made up a quarter of sales in Cirencester, 26 per cent in Stow and 44 per cent in Haslemere, according to the report.

"Confidence has been rippling through the market for the £1m+ market," said Rupert Sweeting, Head of Knight Frank Country. "Bonuses are being paid, company owners have seen an upturn in their profits, mortgage rates have remained low but the threat of increases has perhaps spurred buyers on to take advantage of the historic low rates. Moreover there have been regions which have seen vendors price more sensibly. Hampshire, for example, has seen a surge in sales over £2m this year."

Unsurprisingly in terms of the number of sales, southern England and the Home Counties still accounted for most of the activity in this sector of the market with the majority of £1m-plus sales in the first half of 2014 around the transport corridors of the M3, M4 and the M40.

A separate report from the National Housing Federation says that nearly two thirds of London homes 'earn' more than a nurse in a year, with properties in 20 of London's 33 boroughs rising by more than £35,316 in 12 months.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "It’s no secret that house prices are way beyond the reach of pay packets of hard working Londoners, but these figures show just how absurd and unfair the housing crisis has become. The housing market is clearly broken when house prices are rising by amounts larger than the entire salary of a nurse, teacher or firefighter. What chance have our core workers got of ever owning a home in London? "