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Sales of million-pound homes surge in this unlikely region

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Sales of homes worth a million pounds or over have shot up in an unlikely part of the UK: the East Midlands.

Million-pound property sales in the region rose by 67% year-on-year in the first half of 2018, from 24 to 40.

Meanwhile, sales in London fell by 8% from 3,940 in the first half of 2017 to 3,628 over the corresponding period in 2018, according to figures from Lloyds Bank.

Wales was also a top-performing region with a 100% increase in the number of million pound plus homes sold – from 9 to 18.

The biggest drop in sales of high-end homes was in the North East, which saw a 38% fall from 13 to 8.

Changes to stamp duty on second homes, introduced in 2016, are likely to have contributed to the decline in the capital, Lloyds Bank said. Sales in London peaked at 4,371 in the first half of 2014, dropping to 4,238 in the first half of 2016, continuing to decline in subsequent years.

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.

“London and the South East continue to dominate in overall share of high-end homes but the increases in stamp duty and capital gains tax for foreign investors have dampened demand in the capital, with more housing stock now on the market.”

She added that the picture outside London appears to be moving in a different direction, particularly in Wales and the East Midlands. This could be down to homes outside of the capital being less likely to be used for investment.

“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,” she said.

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