LONDON Oct 17 The number of British homes worth
10 million pounds ($12 million) or more sold over the summer
fell by an annual 86 percent, hit by property tax hikes and the
Brexit vote, according to official data analysed by a
Just five double-digit million pound homes were bought in
the three months to the end of August, according to the London
Central Portfolio (LCP), compared to the same period last year
when 35 transactions were completed.
A 25.5 million pound property in Belgravia, one of the
capital's most desirable postcodes, was the most expensive home
sold but the average selling price of the homes, which were all
in London, fell 25 percent to 16.3 million pounds.
Prices in the capital's prime locations have been falling
for two years according to estate agents Savills after a
tax known as stamp duty was raised on all homes worth more than
937,000 pounds and on second homes and properties bought by
"In the wake of increasing residential property taxes,
compounded by uncertainty immediately after the EU Referendum, a
dramatic fall in sales has been seen across the super-prime
property market," the LCP said.
Property was one of the first sectors to be hit by the June
23 public vote, with several commercial funds suspended as
investors pulled out their cash.
A mixed picture has emerged on how the British housing
market has weathered the initial shock, with surveys showing
demand has remained robust outside London, where investors and
foreign buyers are less active.
But the LCP warned that the collapse in sales of the most
expensive properties, primarily in the capital, could cost the
government 45 million pounds in lost tax revenues.
"As the government faces the daunting task of negotiating
Brexit, together with a potential slowdown in the UK economy, it
should consider its strategy on residential property taxation
carefully to ensure it meets its objectives of increasing
revenues," said LCP's Chief Executive Naomi Heaton.
Finance minister Philip Hammond is due to deliver a budget
statement on Nov. 23, which could include measures to boost the
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)