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Number of £1m-plus homes on the rise, says research

Despite the cost-of-living crisis causing many to tighten their belts and the beginnings of a slowdown of the property market, the prime sector shows no signs of following suit, according to new research.

The findings from London agent Benham and Reeves reveal that the number of homes selling for £1 million or more across England and Wales has risen by 93% in the last decade.

In fact, 79% of local authorities have seen at least one £1 million sale so far in 2022, set against 52% during the same time period in 2012. 


The agency examined sold price records from the Land Registry for sales at, or above, the £1 million threshold for January to June this year - the latest available data.

Benham and Reeves also compared this £1 million market activity to the same timeframe in 2012, to uncover how the market has changed in the last decade. 

So far this year, 6,732 property purchases have been completed with a price tag of £1 million or more, a 93% rise when compared to 2012.

London, unsurprisingly, remains the nation’s £1 million market hotspot, in terms of sheer volume. The capital has seen 3,342 million pounds worth of sales so far in 2022, with the South East the only other region to see this total surpass the 1,000 mark. 

In terms of the biggest rise in £1 million purchases in the last 10 years, though, we must look to the North East. In spite of being the most affordable region to buy a home, the research found that 525% more £1 million property sales have taken place so far this year versus a decade ago. 

Elsewhere, Wales has seen a 420% increase, while the West Midlands (338%), North West (313%) and South West (300%) have also experienced an increase of 300% of more. 

There has now been a sale for £1 million or more in 79% of areas in England and Wales, up considerably (27%) from 52% of areas in 2012.

However, despite the volume of £1 million-plus sales increasing substantially in the past 10 years, the research found that the average sold price has actually dropped slightly. The average sold price for homes purchase for £1 million or more, back in 2012, was £1.425m. Meanwhile, it sits today at £1.35m, a fall of 5%.

Only the North East (+6%), the South West, North West and West Midlands (+5%) have bucked this topline trend. In the East of England, the average price paid has remained static. 

The slight fall in average prices across the board hasn’t led to a fall in total market value, though, with the sharp rise in transaction volume boosting the total value of the £1 million-plus market considerably.

In 2012, £1 million-plus transactions generated just under £6.5 billion during the first six months of 2012. The total so far this year, by contrast, sits at nearly £11.3bn - a 75% uplift. 

“The higher end of the property market hasn’t been susceptible to the same drastic levels of house price appreciation seen across lower price thresholds in recent years, as it simply isn’t driven by the same high volume of homes changing hands,” Marc von Grundherr, CEO of Benham and Reeves, said.

“However, what we have seen is that high rates of house price appreciation are tipping many homes, in many areas, over the one million pound threshold.” 

He added: “A decade ago, a home was sold for one million pounds or more in just over half of local authorities in England and Wales. So far this year, 79% of areas have seen a home purchased at this price or above and this really demonstrates just how much the market has changed.”


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