Million pound home sales outpacing the market

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  • Houses for sale at £1 million and above are finding a buyer 18 days more quickly on average than this time last year, outperforming the nine day drop seen across the whole market
  • The level of million pound homes finding buyers is also beating the wider market, with sales agreed doubling in August (+105%), compared to a 61% increase for all houses
  • The hottest millionaire markets are in the counties of Norfolk, Wiltshire and Cornwall where annual sales agreed have jumped by a massive 244%, 174% and 165% respectively
  • In London, million pound plus homes are being snapped up fastest in Hackney, taking 23 days on average, and outside London in Cambridge, at 40 days

Activity in the million pound plus market is soaring as wealthier buyers make moves to bigger houses or new locations, according to new data out today from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove.

Houses with an asking price of £1million plus are taking an average of 63 days to find a buyer, which is 18 days faster than this time last year when it was 81 days. Time to find a buyer has dropped across the whole market as well for houses, but only by nine days, decreasing from 59 days in August last year to 50 days now.

The analysis also found that million pound homes are outperforming the rest of the property market for the number of sales being agreed.

In August, the number of £1million-plus houses finding a buyer rose by 105% annually, a higher rate of increase than the market as a whole, where sales agreed of houses increased by 61% year-on-year.

This highlights just how in-demand million pound properties are in the current market, with buyers willing to part with huge sums of money to buy larger homes.

At a county level, the hottest millionaire markets are in Norfolk, Wiltshire and Cornwall, where the number of sales being agreed by agents are up by 244%, 174% and 165% respectively.

Looking at the speed of local markets, the fastest sales of million pound plus homes are in Hackney, Tooting, Stoke Newington and Balham in the capital, while outside London the fastest markets are in Cambridge and Berkhamsted.

A regional look across July and August compared to the same time last year reveals that the East Midlands has seen the biggest annual increase in sales agreed for £1million plus homes, up 132%, followed by the South West, up 123%.

 

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister, said: “Houses in the million pound plus market have always taken longer to find buyers than the wider market because of their higher price points, but our new analysis shows that wealthier buyers who are fortunate enough to be able to move to bigger homes have been driving this sector of the market to a pace not seen since back in 2014. Unsurprisingly, the counties seeing the biggest annual rise for sales agreed of million pound homes all benefit from beautiful coasts and countryside. Available stock in this price bracket is up around 2% compared to this time last year, which is the first time since 2018 that there’s been an annual jump, meaning there’s a little bit more choice for this group of buyers. However, given the surge in demand it’s still likely they’ll find themselves up against a lot of competition when they’re putting in offers.”

 

Agents’ views

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “The amount of housing wealth at their disposal and relative security of their household finances mean £1million-plus buyers have been quick to act on their changing housing needs and priorities. Driven by a re-assessment of their work-life balance, desire for more space and the expectation that they will work from home more often, they’ve led the surge in agreed sales seen since the market reopened. This has fed demand for good quality family homes along London’s established wealth corridors and, more noticeably, in towns such as Guildford, Winchester and St Albans, villages within striking distance of a main line station and lifestyle relocation markets such as Devon, Suffolk and north Yorkshire.”

 

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, added: “Demand in higher price brackets is more responsive to external events and we saw the same after the global financial crisis. Buyers who are less constrained by the mortgage market and negative sentiment around unemployment and the economy have been able to act on their desire for more space.”

 

Regional annual % increase of sales agreed for £1million plus homes and for all of market, July-August 2020 versus July-August 2019:

Region Annual sales agreed

% increase

(£1million plus homes)

Annual sales agreed

% increase

(total market)

East Midlands 132% 41%
South West 123% 52%
Wales 100% 41%
South East 95% 65%
West Midlands 90% 43%
East of England 85% 67%
London 64% 51%
North 67% 39%
Scotland 32% 48%

 

Top 10 counties for annual % increase of sales agreed for £1million plus homes:

County Annual sales agreed % increase

(£1million plus homes)

Norfolk 244%
Wiltshire 174%
Cornwall 165%
Gloucestershire 153%
Berkshire 134%
Dorset 131%
West Sussex 120%
Somerset 117%
East Sussex 107%
Suffolk 105%

 

Top 10 locations for average time to find a buyer of £1million plus homes (number of days):

Outside London Days to find a buyer London Days to find a buyer
Cambridge 40 Hackney 23
Berkhamsted 43 Tooting 34
Harpenden 45 Stoke Newington 35
Epsom 46 Balham 36
St Albans 47 Crouch End 41
Reigate 49 Brixton 41
Walton-on-Thames 51 Camberwell 42
South Woodham Ferrers 54 Wandsworth 43
Winchester 57 Highgate 45
Molesey 60 Barnes 45

 

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