Million-pound home sales soar in U.K. as rich change lifestyle

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Sales of U.K. homes costing over 1 million pounds ($1.3 million) doubled last month, outperforming the rest of the market as wealthier buyers sought more space following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Agreed sales were 105% higher than a year earlier in August, compared to a 61% increase in sales of less expensive properties, according to property website Rightmove. Million-pound homes are also finding buyers 18 days faster than in 2019.

U.K. real estate is booming after the lockdown held back months of transactions. Demand is being further fueled by a temporary tax reduction and the pursuit of lifestyle changes after the pandemic.

Pricey properties outside of London are benefiting most. Expensive homes jumped 244% in the largely rural county of Norfolk, 174% in Wiltshire and 165% in coastal Cornwall.

"Demand in higher price brackets is more responsive to external events," said Tom Bill, head of U.K. residential research at Knight Frank. "Buyers who are less constrained by the mortgage market and negative sentiment around unemployment and the economy have been able to act on their desire for more space."

Bloomberg News
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