Record 14,474 million-pound homes sold across Britain in 2017

The number of million-pound house sales taking place increased by 5% in 2017 to reach a record high - despite a slow start to the year, analysis has found.

Some 14,474 homes were sold for more than £1 million across Britain last year, up from 13,748 in 2016, Lloyds Bank Private Banking found - the highest annual figure on its records going back to 2007.

The numbers increased despite a fall in million-pound house sales during the first half of 2017, which was then eclipsed by a strong performance in the last six months of the year, Lloyds said.

More than half (57%) of million-pound property sales took place in London last year, but the number of transactions there only increased by 1% year on year.

Meanwhile, million-pound house sales in Yorkshire and the Humber surged by 60% in the same period, albeit from a much lower base.

Sales in the North West were up by 46% compared with 2016, and increased by 28% in the West Midlands.

The only area where million-pound home sales fell in 2017 was the East Midlands, which saw a 23% fall.

Lloyds said that, over the past decade, the number of million-pound house sales across Britain has ballooned by 73%.

The increase has not been steady, however, with only 7,862 transactions in 2012 - just over half the number seen last year.

Louise Santaana, head of UK wealth lending at Lloyds Banking Group, said: "The million-pound property market got off to a poor start last year, but made a good recovery in the second half.

"Overall, 2017 was slow for the UK economy, with high inflation and low wage growth. But high-end home-owners and investors in many parts of Great Britain are starting to regain their confidence in the market, with exceptional growth seen in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West of England.

"As always, the highest number of transactions took place in the capital last year; however, growth in London has started to slow for million-pound properties.

"Overseas investors represent a good share of this end of the London market and some may be holding off buying, pending further clarity over Brexit."

Figures from the Land Registry and the Registers of Scotland were used for the report.

Here are the numbers of million-pound home sales in 2017 and the annual percentage change, according to Lloyds Bank Private Banking:

London, 8,308, 1%
South East, 3,377, 12%
East of England, 1,208, 1%
South West, 676, 21%
North West, 294, 46%
West Midlands, 198, 28%
Scotland, 158, 4%
Yorkshire and the Humber, 133, 60%
East Midlands, 72, minus 23%
North East, 27, 13%
Wales, 23, 10%