Mortgages for homes over £1m at highest level in 10 years £1m homes no longer just for the super-wealthy
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Almost half of buyers who paid £1m or more for their home in 2015 took out a mortgage, the highest level in a decade.  46% of buyers of £1m+ homes used a mortgage in 2015, double the 23% at the start of the financial crisis in 2008, according to new research from leading residential estate agent, Hamptons International.

Typically a greater proportion of a more expensive property is bought without the need for a loan, but the increasing use of mortgages reflects the view that £1m homes are no longer only for the super wealthy - particularly in London.

The rise in the use of mortgages to buy more expensive homes since the financial crash also reflects the low cost and increasing availability of finance as the economy has recovered and credit conditions have loosened. With even well-off buyers struggling to get a mortgage during the 2008 downturn, just 23% of purchases of homes for £1m or more involved a loan. In all but one year since the crisis, that proportion has risen (see chart 1)

Key findings:

- 46% of people who bought a home for £1m or more used a mortgage in 2015, up from a trough of 23% in 2008 - the start of the financial crisis.  But the proportion differs across the country. (see Table 2)

- 58% of homes bought for £1m or more in the capital last year were purchased with a mortgage – the highest proportion in 10 years.  This compares with a low point of 31% in London in 2009 as the credit crunch took hold.  (see Chart 1, Table 2)

- Yet in the North West just 23% of £1m properties were bought with a mortgage in 2015 – the lowest in the country. This reflects the fact that such highly priced homes sit well beyond the top of the typical family housing ladder outside of the South of England. (see table 2)

- At the more expensive end of the market, mortgages are used less often. In 2015, 55% of homes in the £1-2m bracket were bought using a mortgage.  This compares to 30% for the £2-5m bracket and just 9% for homes worth over £5m. (see table 1)

- The number of buyers using a mortgage for £1-2m homes in Great Britain has increased by 139% (2008-2015).  The number using a mortgage to purchase a property of between £2-5m increased by just 36% over the same period.  (see table 1)

- In the first quarter of 2016 the number of £1m plus homes bought with a mortgage has continued to rise.  Between January 2016 and March 2016, 51% of £1m plus homes were bought using a mortgage, 60% in London.                                                  

Commenting, Fionnuala Earley, Director of Research at Hamptons International said:

“The proportion of homes over £1m bought with a mortgage is on the rise – especially in London. The last five years of house price growth means that one million pounds buys much less house than it used to.  And the view that a £1m property is only within the reach of the super wealthy is rapidly becoming out-dated.  In the more expensive parts of London and the South East a £1m home is more likely to be a normal family home rather than an Oligarch’s mansion.

“The availability and cost of finance has also been a factor in the increasing use of mortgages in this house price bracket, indicating that it is a combination of need and availability of finance that has led to the increase.

“Outside of London and the South East, £1m plus homes sit well beyond the top of the typical family housing ladder and the proportion bought with a mortgage is much lower and has risen only slowly.  In the North West just 23% of £1m plus homes were bought with a mortgage and in the South West, the second home capital of the UK, fewer than one in four £1m homes are bought with a mortgage.”


For further information on Hamptons International please contact:

Sally Palmer
Press Office, Hamptons International
T: 07590183058

Alison Blease
Press Office, Hamptons International
T: 0776 967 7825

Fionnuala Earley
Residential Research Director, Hamptons International
T: 07760 163 120

About Hamptons International

Hamptons International is a leading residential estate agent and property services organisation, operating in London and the South of the UK.  With more than 140 years of experience in the property market and a commitment to industry innovation and exceptional levels of customer service, Hamptons International today offers a wealth of award-winning services including UK and international Sales, Lettings, Property Management, Corporate Services, Residential Development, Development Land, Valuation and Property Finance.

With headquarters in London’s Fitzrovia, Hamptons International has an international network of more than 87 offices and is a subsidiary of Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency and property services group.

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