It may not be not a region renowned for glitz and glamour but the East Midlands is emerging as an unlikely hotbed for million pound homes, figures suggest.
Sales of homes worth a million pounds or over in the region rose by 67 per cent in the first half of last year (up to 40 from 24), as the number being sold in London and the South fell, new house price data from Lloyds Bank Private Banking has revealed.
The data shows a widening regional divide across the county in sales of million pound homes, with the East Midlands and Wales emerging as millionaire hot spots, while Brexit uncertainty is putting investors off London property.
Over the same period there was a 100 per cent increase in the number of million pound plus homes sold in Wales during the first half of 2018, (up to 18 from 9 in 2017).
Meanwhile the sale of million pound plus homes in London continued to decline, down by 8 per cent from 3,940 homes in the first half of 2017 to 3,628 in the first half of this year. The capital’s market share of million pound homes also decreased to 57 per cent, down by 3 per cent from 60 per cent in 2017.
Changes to Stamp Duty on second homes, introduced in 2016, are a likely contributing factor to this decline, Lloyds said. Sales of million pound plus homes in London were at their peak at 4,371 in the first half of 2014, dropping to 4,238 in the first half of 2016 and then continuing to decline in subsequent years, according to the data.
Sarah Deaves, UK Wealth Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The trend of a split across the country in the purchase of million pound plus homes continues, with the capital still experiencing a decline in the number of sales.
“Political uncertainty is likely to be influencing buyers’ decisions about investing in property in the capital, especially in homes at the higher end of the scale.
“The picture outside London seems to be moving in a different direction, particularly in Wales and the East Midlands. Explanations for this could be that homes outside of the capital are less likely to be used for investment with purchaser buying properties to live in.
“The development of HS2 in addition to commuting links between the capital and Birmingham are also likely to be contributing factors to property investment in this region.”
Meanwhile separate data from consumer group Which? showed that nearly half of home owners with a mortgage say they have been making overpayments in recent months, potentially meaning they will be mortgage-free earlier than they had expected.
Young home owners, many of whom may have decades of paying a mortgage off ahead of them, are particularly likely to have been making overpayments, the survey of home owners from Which? Mortgage Advisers has found.
Some 46 per cent of home owners said they had made overpayments during the 12 months leading up to June 2018, including 69 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 52 per cent of home owners aged 25 to 34.
Poor interest rates from money sitting in savings accounts could be one factor driving the high levels of home owners using their cash to make mortgage overpayments, those behind the research suggested.