More homes across the UK are now selling for a million pounds or more, according to the latest released data, but the actual value of houses that cost more than this threshold has been falling in recent years, it has been claimed.
Analysing data from the first half of this year, Lloyds said that the number of homes that were purchased for more than a million pounds had risen by 12 per cent when compared to the same period a year ago across the UK.
This means that the growth in 2016 has helped the market for homes above this value to recover from the fall the previous year, more than offsetting the drop of six per cent in transactions of this level that took place between 2014 and 2015.
The data also shows, however, that in the past two years, the average final sale value of homes that come in at more than a million pounds has fallen by around seven per cent, showing that even though more homes are costing above this threshold, the general price of Britain's most expensive properties is falling.
One of the possible reasons for this is the change in Stamp Duty taxation over the last couple of years, which saw homes at the top of the value tables hit hardest and charged more, meaning that many buyers sought to pay slightly less in order to miss the highest bands.
"Over the last year, there’s been an increase in the number of houses being sold for more than £1 million, but there’s also been a dip in the average house price at this level for two years in a row," said Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank.
"The strength of the London economy, stamp duty changes and the attractiveness of UK prime property to overseas buyers, could all play a part in the boost to sales at this level. Due to a reduction in the average prices for all those homes sold for more than £1 million, Virginia Water in Surrey is now Britain’s only million pound town. In the first half of 2015, it was one of three towns with this status," she added.