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With some of my friends already moving on to buying their second properties, I’ve been thinking it’s about time I bought my own. So for the past few months I’ve been keeping an eye on the property market. Every now and again I come across a property that I think could work well for me. My criteria includes a garden or patio because I need some outdoor space, two bedrooms, a place new enough that I won’t be spending hours renovating the place (furnishing it – yes, pulling out floorboards – no thank you) and most importantly close enough to central London that I won’t be spending an hour on the train (and thousand of pounds) getting to work. Oh yes and bigger than a show box, because I have lots and lots of clothes. I don’t think this is particularly demanding, but looking at the property market, affordable housing is pretty rare.
As always, the problem is pretty obvious. Money. Last year a record-breaking 13,400 properties sold for more than £1 million – with a £50 million penthouse topping the list of biggest sales. Now, who’d like to buy that for me?
House prices in London shot up by 16.3 per cent, which helped boost the number of million pound-plus deals by a fifth. So if you’ve been holding out to either increase your deposit or for house prices to decline, chances are it hasn’t done you any favours.
The biggest purchase of 2014 was a luxury apartment on Princes Gate, Knightsbridge, which was sold in July for £50 million – the Treasury benefitted from £3.5 million in stamp duty fees alone, which would be enough for around 20 houses.
The second most expensive sale of the year was for an apartment in Chesham Place, which was sold to a Glencore mining tycoon for £46 million.
This is according to a series of figures released by the Land Registry last week, which showed there were 13,428 properties selling last year for more than £1 million. It is an increase of 21 per cent over the 11,084 in 2013 and almost three times as many as in 2009.
By comparison, there were just 185 seven-figure deals in 1995, the earliest year for Land Registry figures – now if only I’d bought back then. Granted, I was seven years old, but my chances were probably much higher anyway.
Greater London, unsurprisingly, helped drive the million-pound market with 66 per cent of deals taking place in the capital. The capital made up 96 of the top 100 sales.
This was thanks to properties like Jersey House on The Bishops Avenue, in Hampstead, which sold for £33.7 million to be the third biggest sale of 2014.
Making up the top five sales were a £27.9 million house on Thornwood Gardens in Kensington and another flat on Princes Gate, which sold for £26.5 million.
In the £1 million, £5 million, £10 million, £15 million and £20 million-plus brackets, 2014 beat every year in Land Registry history. However, I am still hopeful that perhaps there’s a property out there for me that won’t require me to say goodbye to my social life for the next ten years.
Source: 72 Point