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Millionaire property hotspots revealed as Scotland overtakes London

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Scotland has overtaken London as the fastest moving market for million-pound homes, new research has revealed.

The findings by Rightmove revealed that million-pound properties in Scotland typically found a buyer in 61 days, 25 days quicker than before the pandemic.

The analysis looked at the year before the pandemic, compared with the year since the property market reopened to measure current buyer behaviour in the most expensive areas against pre-pandemic levels.

Scotland in demand: This five-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh is for sale for £1.65million via estate agents Rettie & Co

Scotland in demand: This five-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh is for sale for £1.65million via estate agents Rettie & Co

Rightmove revealed that million-pound properties in Scotland typically found a buyer in 61 days, 25 days quicker than before the pandemic

Rightmove revealed that million-pound properties in Scotland typically found a buyer in 61 days, 25 days quicker than before the pandemic

During the past year million-pound homes have taken an average of 67 days in London to find a buyer.

While this is still quicker than before the pandemic, it sees the capital drop from being the fastest-selling region to being in fifth position.

Its new ranking sees it placed behind Scotland, the East of England, the South East and the East Midlands.

In a sign of how families are seeking in-demand commuter locations on the edge of the countryside, both Hertfordshire and Surrey claimed four spots each for the towns outside the capital where million pound-plus homes sold fastest, with Berkhamsted, St Albans, Hertford and Hitchin featuring from the former county and Thames Ditton, Epsom, Ashtead and Reigate from the latter.

In the fastest moving local area, Thames Ditton, million pound-plus homes have been taking just 26 days on average to find a buyer. 

FASTEST MOVING LOCAL AREAS FOR £1M PROPERTIES OUTSIDE LONDON
Location Region Average time to find a buyer (days)
(Jul 20-Jun 21)
Thames Ditton, Surrey South East 26
Epsom, Surrey South East 33
Haywards Heath, West Sussex South East 37
Ashtead, Surrey South East 39
Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire East of England 40
St. Albans, Hertfordshire East of England 41
Hertford, Hertfordshire East of England 41
Chelmsford, Essex East of England 41
Hitchin, Hertfordshire East of England 42
Reigate, Surrey South East 43
Source; Rightmove     

The numbers also reveal that London has seen a drop in its overall share of the total million-pound sales market, with 40 per cent of million-pound sales now taking place in the capital, compared with 47 per cent before the pandemic.

The data suggests that London’s overall influence on the prime market has dropped slightly.

Rightmove attributed this to buyers in the prime market prioritising more space, and being able to consider working from home when choosing their next property.

The South East has recorded the biggest increase in the share of million-pound homes across Great Britain, rising from 26 per cent to 29 per cent.

This four-bedroom terrace home in Hackney, north London, is for sale for £2million via estate agents Chestertons

This four-bedroom terrace home in Hackney, north London, is for sale for £2million via estate agents Chestertons

BIGGEST INCREASES IN PROPORTION OF STOCK SELLING OVER £1M
Location Region % of properties selling over a million pounds (Apr 19-Mar 20) % of properties selling over a million pounds (Jul 20-Jun 21)
Stockbridge, Hampshire South East 11% 26%
Virginia Water, Surrey South East 30% 43%
Radlett, Hertfordshire East of England 34% 45%
Cranbrook, Kent South East 3% 12%
Weybridge, Surrey South East 22% 30%
Source: Rightmove     

Meanwhile, the increase in the number of million-pound homes in Britain that are selling is up 80 per cent on pre-pandemic levels, compared with an overall increase across all property sales of 37 per cent.

Wales has seen the biggest increase in the number of sales being agreed for million-pound homes, more than doubling – at 164 per cent – since before the pandemic, although their million-pound sales make up only 0.6 per cent of all those taking place across Britain.

At a local level, there are some significant changes. Stockbridge, in Hampshire, has seen the biggest rise in the proportion of homes that are selling for a million pounds or over.

The percentage of all sales in the area that are worth one million pounds or more has jumped from 11 per cent to 26 per cent now.

The fastest-moving area is Thames Ditton in Surrey, where million-pound homes have found a buyer in just 26 days.

This five-bedroom detached property in Surrey's Thames Ditton is for sale for £1,795,000 via estate agents Curchods

This five-bedroom detached property in Surrey’s Thames Ditton is for sale for £1,795,000 via estate agents Curchods

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘Prime sales growth has outperformed the wider market in the past year, as many people across Britain have chosen to take a step up the property ladder, potentially moving further out to afford a bigger property, or finally making the move to their forever home.

‘While London is still home to a significant portion of the prime market, some millionaire movers have turned their city commute into a rural route. These dynamics have helped push swathes of Britain’s property stock into the higher price brackets, and have led to a broader geographical spread of million-pound properties.’

Estate agents confirmed that the expensive homes in parts of Scotland are proving to be in demand.

Dr John Boyle, of estate agents Rettie & Co in Scotland, said: ‘The Scottish £1million market has proven to be resilient in the face of the pandemic.

‘Just like the wider housing market here, demand has been moving well ahead of supply, leading to price rises and fast-moving sales.

‘The market is particularly strong in the east of the country, with Edinburgh alone accounting for well over half of all Scottish £1million sales.

‘However, other areas are seeing rising £1million sales, particularly in outlying areas of the wider Lothians market, with sales outside Edinburgh notably higher in the east compared with recent years.’

James Wyatt, of estate agents Barton Wyatt in Virginia Water, said: ‘Virginia Water has for many years been a ‘jewel in the Crown’ of the Home Counties when it comes to property sales. The 1750-acre Wentworth Estate is well known for its very high value homes of up to £30million.

‘During 2020 we saw many UK buyers and tenants moving out of London, keeping us busy. In 2021 we have seen no let up, but now also have seen the return of international buyers. It is curious that – quite against our expectations – the pandemic has created a market like we’ve never seen’.

REGIONAL TRENDS IN SALES OF HOMES FOR £1M-PLUS
Region Time to find a buyer (Apr19-Mar20) Time to find a buyer (Jul 20-Jun21) Sales Agreed increase Share across GB
Scotland 86 61 47% 0.7%
East of England 86 63 100% 10.8%
South East 89 65 98% 29.1%
East Midlands 97 66 114% 1.7%
London 85 67 54% 40.5%
South West 91 70 121% 9.0%
West Midlands 95 73 112% 2.6%
North East 128 79 123% 0.4%
Yorkshire and The Humber 94 82 122% 1.6%
North West 108 86 92% 2.9%
Wales 105 93 164% 0.6%
Great Britain 88 67 80% N/A
Source: Rightmove       

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How much it costs to buy near new Nine Elms and Battersea tube stations

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Two new Underground stations opened this week – Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station.

But while the areas feature lots of new housing for London, people looking to move to there and jump on the Tube’s extended Northern Line will pay a hefty price tag.

The average price of a house in Nine Elms is £726,131, according to Zoopla, but they have got cheaper. This is a drop of more than 6 per cent on a year ago, the equivalent of £50,000. 

But that average price doubles to £1,501,091 once you narrow a buyer’s search area from the wider Nine Elms area to just the Nine Elms development site, which is the new housing just south of the River Thames. 

And there’s the opportunity to spend much more – among the three homes we found below in the location was a flat in Battersea Power Station for £16million.

A luxury penthouse high up on the eleventh and twelfth floors of Battersea Power Station is for sale for £16million with estate agent Copperstones - see more details below

A luxury penthouse high up on the eleventh and twelfth floors of Battersea Power Station is for sale for £16million with estate agent Copperstones – see more details below

Two new Underground stations have opened this week: One at Nine Elms and the other at Battersea Power Station

Two new Underground stations have opened this week: One at Nine Elms and the other at Battersea Power Station

Buyers looking at the Nine Elms development will need a typical budget of £1.5m, according to property website Zoopla

Buyers looking at the Nine Elms development will need a typical budget of £1.5m, according to property website Zoopla

Billions of pounds of investment have been pumped into the area in recent years, including through the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station.

The decommissioned coal-fired power station is now luxury flats and penthouses – while there has also been the building of a new US Embassy in Nine Elms.

Despite the recent falls in average house prices near the stations, property experts suggest that values will rise, at least in the surrounding areas.

Billions of pounds of investment have been pumped into the Nine Elms area in recent years, including through the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station

Billions of pounds of investment have been pumped into the Nine Elms area in recent years, including through the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station

Buying agent Henry Pryor said: ‘While some might expect the new stations to be full of people fleeing the Nightmare on Nine Elms Street, these new infrastructure nodes are really going to give the area a genuine lift.

‘Lower Chelsea and the area around Battersea Park may well see prices bumped up by as much as 10 per cent, even if many buyers in SW11 thought that they were high enough.’

We take a look at three properties for sale at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms 

1. Two-bed flat, Battersea Power Station, £1.15m

This luxury flat is close to the Battersea Power Station Underground station, which opened this week in London

This luxury flat is close to the Battersea Power Station Underground station, which opened this week in London

The modern property is on the market for £1.15million and is being sold via estate agents Martin & Co

The modern property is on the market for £1.15million and is being sold via estate agents Martin & Co

Inside, there is an open-plan living area with a fully-fitted kitchen, while outside there is a covered and tiled private balcony

Inside, there is an open-plan living area with a fully-fitted kitchen, while outside there is a covered and tiled private balcony

There are two bedrooms, including the main one boasting an en-suite shower room and room for a baby's cot

There are two bedrooms, including the main one boasting an en-suite shower room and room for a baby’s cot

There is also a smaller balcony at the rear of the flat that overlooks the railway tracks that carries commuters in and out of central London

There is also a smaller balcony at the rear of the flat that overlooks the railway tracks that carries commuters in and out of central London

This luxury two-bedroom flat is in the redeveloped Battersea Power Station and has an asking price of £1.15m.

It has an open-plan living area with a fully-fitted kitchen and a large private balcony.

Residents have access to a library, private cinema, communal gardens, a gym, swimming pool and a concierge service. The flat is being sold via estate agents Martin & Co.

2. Six-bed penthouse, Battersea Power Station, £16m

The modern interiors include designer crittall-style doors and walls, which are made from many panes of glass

The modern interiors include designer crittall-style doors and walls, which are made from many panes of glass

The property has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms - including this one with a cooper bath -, a roof terrace and two parking spaces

The property has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms – including this one with a cooper bath -, a roof terrace and two parking spaces

The penthouse boasts far-reaching views from the private balcony across the River Thames and towards the city

The penthouse boasts far-reaching views from the private balcony across the River Thames and towards the city

The London penthouse has a hefty price tag and is being sold via estate agents Copperstones for £16million

The London penthouse has a hefty price tag and is being sold via estate agents Copperstones for £16million

This luxury penthouse is on the eleventh and twelfth floors of Battersea Power Station, with views across the River Thames and the capital.

It has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a roof terrace and two parking spaces.

You’ll need deep pockets to buy it due to its £16million price tag. It is being sold by estate agents Copperstones.

3. Three-bedroom flat, Nine Elms, £3.95m

The three-bedroom flat is in the Ambassador Building in Nine Elms and has a light interior with walnut parquet flooring

The three-bedroom flat is in the Ambassador Building in Nine Elms and has a light interior with walnut parquet flooring

The luxury home has floor to ceiling windows and is being sold via estate agents Johns & Co with an asking price of £3.95m

The luxury home has floor to ceiling windows and is being sold via estate agents Johns & Co with an asking price of £3.95m 

The famous Sky Pool floats 10 storeys up between two skyscrapers at the Embassy Gardens development in London

The famous Sky Pool floats 10 storeys up between two skyscrapers at the Embassy Gardens development in London

This flat is in the Ambassador Building in Nine Elms at the Embassy Gardens development – home to the Sky Pool.

It is three bedrooms, walnut parquet flooring, marble work surfaces and floor to ceiling windows.

It has an asking price of £3.95m and is being sold via estate agents Johns & Co.

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What to expect in Budget 2022? Small tax cuts and modest welfare increases

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Public spending may have rocketed over the past 20 months due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic but it appears that tax cuts and welfare increases will be on the table nonetheless when the Government sets out its budget on October 12th.

As Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently said, there will be tax measures aimed at “middle-income people in particular”, as well as a welfare package to offset the impact of the rising cost of living.

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Asking price on average British home hits a record high of £338,462

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The average price tag on British homes has hit a record high of £338,462 as the competition heats up among ‘power buyers’, according to new figures.    

Average asking prices for homes increased by 0.3 per cent, or £1,091, month-on-month in September, according to figures from Rightmove. 

Wales, South West England, the East Midlands, the East of England and the South East – are experiencing annual asking price growth of more than 8 per cent.

Fierce competition continues among buyers for the low number of properties for sale.

Average asking prices for homes increased by 0.3 per cent, or £1,091, month-on-month in September, according to figures from Rightmove. Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 in Brighton

Average asking prices for homes increased by 0.3 per cent, or £1,091, month-on-month in September, according to figures from Rightmove. Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 in Brighton 

Rightmove added that buyers who are ready to move – including those who have already sold their own home, have cash in the bank, or are first-time buyers with a mortgage agreed – are ‘out-muscling’ those who still need to sell their home in order to buy. 

The frenzied market activity has helped to push up the average asking price of a newly-listed property to a new record for the fourth consecutive month, according to Rightmove.

The average asking price has climbed £21,389 higher in just six months to £338,447, according to the property listing website’s index.

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: ‘We predict that the number of completed sales will be the highest ever seen in a single month when June’s data is released by HMRC.

‘This means it’s likely that the first half of 2021 has seen a record number of moves when compared with the first six months of any other year, induced by the pandemic’s side-effect of a new focus on what a home needs to provide.’

Frenzied activity has helped to push up average property asking prices, says Rightmove

Frenzied activity has helped to push up average property asking prices, says Rightmove

It comes as it was revealed earlier this month that the prices houses are actually selling for are now 13 per cent higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The figures come in contrast to predictions from agents, who thought the end to the Covid-19 stamp duty holiday would see demand for properties dramatically fall and take heat out of the housing market.  

The Government’s stamp duty holiday, introduced when the pandemic hit last year, fuelled a rapid rise in house prices, but the stamp duty band was halved from £500,000 to £250,000 from July, and will revert to £125,000 from September 30.

Rightmove said that in the month to mid-July, asking prices rose 0.7 per cent – the equivalent of £2,374 and the largest monthly rise at this time of year since July 2007, at the peak of the boom just before the financial crisis.

The price data is based on Rightmove’s asking prices, while the data on the number of sales is a prediction of what the next HMRC transactions will show, based on Rightmove data that looks at properties being marked ‘under offer’ or ‘sold subject to contract’.

Rightmove attributed the increase to a lack of supply of homes for sale and identified a shortfall of 225,000 homes for sale which, if available, would have helped to maintain a more normal level of property stock for sale and stabilise prices.

This stark shortfall, along with frenzied buyer activity, is fuelling record high prices and leading to record lows in available stock for sale.  

The high levels of activity have continued, according to Rightmove, despite the end of the stamp duty holiday.

The stamp duty holiday, which ended on 30 June, saw no tax on the first £500,000 of a property purchase price replaced by none on the first £250,000 until the end of September. Stamp duty is due to return in full after that.

Rightmove said there is an ‘urgent need’ for low stocks of property for sale to be rebuilt so that stability in prices can return.

Rightmove said that the average value of a home in Britain currently stands at £338,462

Rightmove said that the average value of a home in Britain currently stands at £338,462

Mr Bannister said: ‘First-time buyers are currently benefitting from their sector having the most buyer-friendly conditions. Choice is still more limited when compared to the same period in 2019, but price rises are the most subdued of any sector.

‘Saving a deposit is still very hard, but 5 per cent is now an option, and with many paying rising rents, buying your own home on a lower deposit is becoming an opportunity again. The opportunity is also there for property owners to come to market, as it’s still a great sellers’ market despite the recent end of the tax holiday in Wales and its scaling back in England.

‘We’ve also seen a much more efficient housing market over the past year, with the strong buyer demand and faster churn of homes leading to a much higher percentage of sellers finding a buyer for their home, and fewer unsold homes being withdrawn from the market.

‘Buyer sentiment remains strong, and the growth in new households combined with people living longer and having changed housing needs is exacerbating long-term housing stock shortages.’

Rob Sabin, of estate agents Miles & Barr, said: ‘East Kent’s property market continues to be very active during the first six months of 2021 with buyers continuing to purchase the limited housing stock available.

Wales, South West England, the East Midlands, the East of England and the South East - are experiencing annual asking price growth of more than 8 per cent. Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 in Bristol

Wales, South West England, the East Midlands, the East of England and the South East – are experiencing annual asking price growth of more than 8 per cent. Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 in Bristol

‘The number of sellers coming to market has slowed as the year has progressed, which means we’ve seen the level of new listings coming to the market significantly decrease year on year, while in turn total available stock levels across the market is at the lowest we have seen in a number of years.

‘While the number of new listings has dropped, our results remained strong with 945 homes listed accepting an offer. East Kent has also seen the number of buyers looking to relocate to either the countryside or by the coast increase with a fifth of applicants registered coming from Greater London.’

Marc von Grundherr, of estate agents Benham and Reeves, said: ‘The UK property market continues to defy expectation, with house prices reaching yet another record high despite whispers of a decline in values as a result of the tapered stamp duty holiday deadline.

‘There’s no doubt the stamp duty holiday has been the catalyst for this impressive market performance. However, it isn’t the driving factor behind the intent to purchase for UK homebuyers and so a robust level of activity will remain long after it has expired. 

‘When you couple heightened demand with a severe shortage of stock, it’s very likely that property values will remain buoyant for the remainder of the year 2021 buyer frenzy reveals 225,000 shortfall in number of homes for sale.’ 

But property price growth has still seen a ‘surprising’ increase in August, with Nationwide Building Society figures placing it at 11 per cent higher than one year earlier. 

However, ONS figures released five days ago suggest the average UK house price dropped £10,000 in July.

The typical home was worth £255,535 in July, according to the Land Registry-based index – around £19,000 higher than a year earlier but significantly below the £265,448 peak in June.  

This translated to annual house price inflation slowing to 8 per cent in July, from 13.1 per cent the previous month.

In a reversal of fortune for the property market compared to the recent past, the North East is the UK’s hottest property market in terms of average price rises, with homes up almost 11 per cent in a year, while London is seeing the lowest gains at 2 per cent, ONS figures show. 

Rightmove added that buyers who are ready to move - including those who have already sold their own home, have cash in the bank, or are first-time buyers with a mortgage agreed - are 'out-muscling' those who still need to sell their home in order to buy. Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 in Norfolk

Rightmove added that buyers who are ready to move – including those who have already sold their own home, have cash in the bank, or are first-time buyers with a mortgage agreed – are ‘out-muscling’ those who still need to sell their home in order to buy. Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 in Norfolk 

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: ‘Competition among potential buyers to secure their next home is now more than double what it was this time in 2019.

‘To be in pole position in the race for the best property you need to have greater buying power than the rest of the field.

‘That traditionally would mean deeper pockets to outbid other buyers, but in the most competitive market ever, today’s ‘power buyers’ also need to have already found a buyer for their own property, or to have no need to sell at all.

‘Agents report that buyers who have yet to sell are being out-muscled by buyers who have already sold subject to contract.

Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 on Washington Road in Leicester

Pictured: A house on sale for £340,000 on Washington Road in Leicester 

‘Proof that you are mortgage-ready or can splash the cash without needing a mortgage will also help you to get the pick of the housing crop.’

But there are signs of a re-balancing in the housing market. In the first two weeks of September, the number of new listings was up by 14% compared with the last two weeks of August.

Rightmove said a wider choice of properties should also encourage more homeowners to come to market as the number of potential onward purchases grows.

Mr Bannister continued: ‘This 14% increase in the number of new sellers coming to market in the first half of September is only an early snapshot, but autumn is traditionally a busy period, as those owners who have hesitated thus far during the year see the few months before Christmas as an opportunity to belatedly get their moving plans under way.’ 

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