More millionaire mansions

Sales of houses worth more than £1m have doubled
Sales of houses worth more than £1m have doubled

Despite falling house prices, the number of million pound property sales has more than doubled during the last year.

According to research by Halifax, sales of homes worth more than £1 million have risen by 118 per cent in the past year. However, this substantial increase has been driven by a small number of wealthy London neighbourhoods that account for the vast majority of the sizeable sales.

There were 2,992 million pound property sales in Great Britain in the first six months of 2010, up from 1,370 in the corresponding period of 2009, and Kensington and Chelsea alone delivered 398 of these sales.

In total, almost 90 per cent of all million pound sales in Great Britain in the first six months of 2010 were in London and the South East. In the North, the number of sales fell 50 per cent from six to just three.

Martin Ellis, Halifax Housing Economist, said: "The increase reflects both strong demand from wealthy foreign buyers looking to benefit from the weakness in sterling and the relatively strong performance of the housing market in London and the South East over the past year."

There are an estimated 170,000 homes in Britain that are worth at least one million pounds.