More than 770,000 Property Millionaires in the UK
Despite concerns in the broader economy, the property market is in better health than ever with a record number of million pound homes sold in 2017.
Who wants to be a millionaire? According to statistics published by Lloyds Bank, the answer to that question is thousands more every year – at least when it comes to being property millionaires. In 2017, almost 14,500 homes were sold for a price tag in excess of a million pounds. That’s a five percent increase on the previous year.
Of course, that is not to say that there are thousands of house buyers walking around with seven-figure sums in their briefcases. Banks and building societies are offering more 900,000 pound mortgages than ever before to provide everyday people with a taste of that millionaire lifestyle.
London tops the million pound property charts
Some 57 percent of these property transactions took place in the capital. With London’s notoriously high prices compared with the rest of the country, that will come as little surprise, but what does stand out is the fact that from 2016 to 2017, the number remained almost static, rising by less than one percent.
Given that confidence in the London property market has suffered something of a wobble in the shadow of Brexit, perhaps that is only to be expected. So where have the new million pound property sales been taking place?
It’s not so grim up north after all
Those assuming the answer will be the vibrant and emerging cities like Manchester and Edinburgh could be in for a surprise. In fact, the biggest growth areas for million pound properties have been North Yorkshire, Humberside and the North West of England.
However, the rise has been reasonably consistent across the country, and the only area that has seen a drop in million pound properties has been the East Midlands, where the number of transactions actually fell by 23 percent.
Mortgages changing to meet the new dynamic
The days of easy credit might be behind us, but the increase in properties with seven figure price tags has forced lenders to become a little more flexible and imaginative in the financial products on offer. Once the domain of specialist lenders and private banks, high street lenders are now quite casual about offering mortgages around the million pound mark.
Of course, they have increasingly stringent qualification criteria, and some borrowers find the inflexibility of the check box approach stifling – particularly when faced with the brick wall response of “computer says no.” Around two thirds of the UK’s millionaires are self employed, and their finances are seldom straightforward.
However, this is the age of opportunity, and one person’s problem is another’s business opportunity. There are a growing number of specialist lenders in the mortgage field who are hoovering up the leftover business from those who walk out of the high street banks disappointed, and regardless of employment circumstances, credit history and other factors, there are lenders ready to step up with a mortgage offer in this increasingly competitive market.