Britain’s luxury property market swelled in 2020, as an increasing number of homes joined the ranks of those worth £1 million (US$1.36 million) or more, according to a report Monday from Savills.
On the back of last year’s unexpectedly prosperous housing market, almost 40,000 homes crossed the £1 million threshold in 2020, marking the first time in five years that the segment has grown, the London-based estate agency said.
There are now 563,240 properties in Britain worth £1 million or more, a figure that represents just 1.8% of Britain’s total homes.
Though the increase has left the metric at 53% higher than a decade ago, it remains 7% below 2015’s peak, when 608,565 homes were priced above £1 million.
“Covid-19 has led to well-documented behavioral and lifestyle changes that have shaped the pattern of growth in the prime markets as buyers seek more space,” Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said in the report.
“In 2020, prime regional house prices grew by 3.6% and prime London by just 1.1%. This trend was reflected in the change in the number of homes now worth £1 million or more, with five times more homes passing this threshold in the regional markets (+32,972) than in London (+6,657) last year,” he said. “Yet despite having narrowed in the past five years, the gap between the North and South remains strong.”
Despite the lackluster price gains in 2020, London has more high-value property than the rest of Britain combined.
The city, where one in 12 of the properties is worth seven figures or more, has 54.5% of all the £1 million-plus homes in the country.
Within London, the posh borough of Kensington and Chelsea has the most concentrated luxury housing stock, with 37.6% of all homes in the enclave being priced at £1 million and over.