Million-pound property sales spread out of London as house prices rise

Million-pound property sales spread out of London as house prices rise [Photo: Highwaystarz-Photography via iStock]

For years, the vast majority of homes that were sold for a million pounds or more were located in London. The capital's ability to sustain its own housing market that almost operates as a separate entity from the rest of the country, and the rises that have happened therein over the years, meant that nearly all of the most expensive properties in the UK were located in London. 

According to the latest report published by the mortgage firm Private Finance based on Land Registry data, the ripple effect from London means that house sales for more than a million pounds are spreading into nearby counties. This trend has seen Hertfordshire, Surrey and Essex welcome a swell in the number of more expensive homes in recent years. 

So common are house sales of this value, that Private Finance believes that 2017 will be the first time ever that more than half of the UK's million-pound property sales in one year are outside of London. 

Shaun Church, director at Private Finance, said that one of the reasons for the spread of sales away from London is the rise in house prices. People who would have previously been able to buy a million-pound home in London can no longer afford to buy the same properties, as they have become much more expensive. 

"Sustained house price growth in London means that even for many highly paid professionals, a large family home in the capital is now out of reach," he said.

"With buyers looking further afield as a result, this has contributed to significant growth in the number of million pound plus transactions in areas like Kent, Essex and the Home Counties, which are all within easy commuting distance of London," he added. 

The data also indicates how the million-pound plus market has grown over the last five years across the UK. Private Finance said that between 2011 and 2016, the volume of sales at above this threshold increased by 195 per cent.