£2m-plus house sales show 40% drop

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A seven per cent stamp duty rate was imposed on homes worth more than two million pounds in March // A seven per cent stamp duty rate was imposed on homes worth more than two million pounds in March
A seven per cent stamp duty rate was imposed on homes worth more than two million pounds in March
Sales of top-end homes plunged by 40% as the Chancellor introduced a stamp duty hike on properties worth more than £2 million, new data reveals.
The number of houses sold for more than £2 million in March, the latest month for which the figures are available, dropped to 124 from 205 the previous year, the Land Registry said.
A 7% stamp duty rate was imposed on homes in this bracket towards the end of March causing estate agents to warn that some property chains will crumble as a result.
Elsewhere, the Land Registry said average house prices in May in England and Wales increased 0.5% month-on-month to £161,677.
The region in England and Wales which experienced the highest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 7.7%. The capital also experienced the greatest monthly rise - an increase of 2.6%.
Yorkshire & The Humber experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of 3.9%. The North East saw the most significant monthly price fall - a drop of 1.9%.
The most up-to-date figures available show that during March 2012, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by 25% to 58,609 compared with 46,742 in March 2011.
Estate agents warned that the Chancellor risked "killing the goose that lays the golden egg" when he unveiled the 7% rate on £2 million properties.
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