Britain’s two-tier housing market has been laid bare by figures showing that 27,000 new property millionaires were created in 2011 despite prices overall falling by 3%.
Today’s UK newspaper, The Telegraph, reports that new figures from Zoopla.co.uk, an online valuation service, says 26,744 more home owners had properties worth £1m more at the end of 2011 than at the same time last year, although the average British property value fell by 3% to £221,128 over the same period.
“High prime demand” from equity-rich buyers and relatively low supply of large homes had created 73 new property millionaires every day in 2011, Zoopla said, and one in 108 homes was now worth £1m or more; at the peak of the property market in 2007 the figure was one in 97.
There are now 253,118 homes valued at more than £1m in Britain, the research found. The biggest rise in the number of property millionaires was in London, where the number grew by 18% over the past year. Four in five homes worth more than £1m in Britain were located in London and the South East, with London accounting for more than half the national total (55%).
London was also home to nine of the top 10 areas in Britain. The area with the highest proportion of £1m homes was Kensington W8, where 56% of all homes were worth more than £1m. The only area outside London making the top ten was Virginia Water in Surrey, where 30% of homes were worth £1 million or more.
Nick Leeming of Zoopla.co.uk said: “This data shows clearly how differently the top end of the market is performing from mainstream Britain.
“While most of the market is suffering from the impact of inflation, stagnant wage growth, the inability to secure mortgage finance and nervousness about the future of the economy, at the upper end of the market cash and equity rich buyers are enjoying some of the lowest mortgage rates in recent history.”
He added that “strong demand” from overseas buyers has boosted prices for homes in the capital.