Rise in number of £1m Scottish homes sold

Belmont Drive In March, Belmont Drive in Edinburgh was named as the most expensive for property in Scotland

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The number of homes selling for at least £1m has risen to its highest level since the peak of the housing market in Scotland in 2008, according to new research.

The Lloyds Banking Group study suggests 60 properties above that threshold were sold in the first half of 2011.

That was a 22% increase on the comparable figure for last year.

The rise was in marked contrast to the 12% fall in residential property sales as a whole over the same period.

However, top-end sales continued to account for a very minor proportion of the Scottish housing market, representing just 0.2% of total sales in the first half of the year.

There are now an estimated 3,300 homes in Scotland worth at least £1m.

Nearly half of all the £1m homes sold in Scotland in the first half of 2011 were in Edinburgh.

The capital also recorded the highest number of £1m property sales outside southern England.

In March, a Bank of Scotland survey named Belmont Drive in Edinburgh as the most expensive for property in Scotland.

The average property on the street, which is near Murrayfield stadium, was valued at £2.3m based on house sales over the past four years.

Bank of Scotland housing economist Suren Thiru said: "The number of homes sold for at least a £1m has increased significantly over the past year in marked contrast to the rather more subdued picture across the rest of the housing market.

"Strong demand from wealthy cash rich buyers both in Scotland and further afield, as well as limited supply of such properties, has helped to boost the level of activity at the very top end of the housing market."

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