Posh properties at record high prices

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Royal CrescentFritz Faerber/AP/Press Association Images

It seems that if you want to sail through the tough times entirely unscathed, then the secret is to be loaded. That way you don't have to worry about what the little people are up to, you just buy yourself a few more nice houses - and hang the cost.

There's nothing that reveals quite how badly we're not 'all in this together' as the sales figures for the UK's poshest properties.

Price rises

Primelocation.com, which tracks the top 25% of housing, has revealed that prices in this bracket rose almost 1% last month alone - adding an astonishing £4,043 to the average prime property price in that time. It means the average is now £478,797 - up almost 5% from the same time last year.

Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation.com commented: "As the bad news rolls in from outside the UK and the economy stutters, the Prime market has been marching on regardless as the UK's wealthiest home owners continue to prosper."

London rules

Much of the growth continues to be driven by some bonkers pricing in London. The same survey showed that London prime asking prices are at all-time high of £1,307,801. This is an astonishing 13.7% higher than the same time last year.

In some parts of the capital, price rises are particularly crazy. Asking prices of prime homes in Wandsworth have increased 29.3% over the past 12 months as the redevelopment billions being ploughed into areas such as Nine Elms and parts of Battersea have an effect. Wandsworth is not alone, though - asking prices rose in Lambeth by 23.8%, Barnet by 22% and in Hammersmith and Fulham by 20%.

Why?

Lewis explains: "The highest priced homes in London are rarely owned by average Brits, which is why the prime London market behaves so differently to the rest of the UK. Demand from wealthy overseas investors has, and will continue to, keep this prosperous market afloat despite the sluggish economic performance seen across the rest of the country."

However, the most expensive properties in the rest of the country are continuing to increase in value too. All areas of the UK saw asking prices rise from last month - excluding the North East where they fell 1%. Compared to 12 months ago, prices are up in every region except Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East.

According to Lloyds TSB, it's the most expensive houses seeing the biggest price rises - particularly the top 0.2% that are worth two million pounds or more. Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, says: "The rise in the number of multi-million pound property sales over the past year compares to the weakening picture across the rest of the market, highlighting the strength at the very top end of the housing market. Continued demand from wealthy cash rich buyers, both from the UK and overseas, as well as limited supply has meant that this segment of the market remains largely immune from the headwinds facing the vast majority of homebuyers."

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