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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

£1m-plus sales soar but will future buyers beat stamp duty deadline?

Sales of £1m-plus homes have surged since lockdown as affluent buyers seek more space and lifestyle changes. 

An average of 868 £1m-plus sales have been agreed each week since the beginning of June, which is some 66 per cent higher than the weekly average of 522 over the same period in 2019.

The figures come in new research from Savills and property consultancy TwentyCi.    

Despite many spring market weeks being lost to the lockdown, when sales fell to just 69 in one week in mid-April, a total of 23,000 £1m-plus sales were agreed in the first three quarters of 2020 - that’s 16 per cent higher than in 2019. 

Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, says: “Whereas sales in London rose by four per cent in the first nine months of the year, they are up 27 per cent across the rest of the UK, albeit London still accounts for over four in 10 sales with a £1m-plus price tag.”

He continues:  “Lifestyle relocation has been a big theme in the market since lockdown began to ease, and this is very clearly reflected in the numbers. Relocation and staycation locations such as the Cotswolds (up 94 per cent), South Oxfordshire (up 78 per cent), Dorset (up 69 per cent), and Cornwall and Wiltshire (both up 66 per cent) have been standout performers.”

Savills blames travel restrictions for a slump in overseas demand for high-end homes in the most central boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, City of Westminster and Camden, where £1m-plus volumes were down 10 per cent year on year.

“By the year end we now expect the number of £1m-plus sales agreed to exceed 2019 volumes - a performance nobody could have anticipated in the depths of lockdown” says Cook.  

“For many the challenge is now in getting deals through to completion by Christmas, after which eyes will be on beating the March 31 stamp duty holiday deadline in order to benefit from the maximum £15,000 saving for those buying at this end of the market.”

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