The number of properties changing hands for seven-figure sums has seen a major fall in the West Midlands.
The region saw a 12 per cent decline in million-pound property sales in the first half of 2015 – the first dip for almost four years.
That comes despite a £1.8 million deal for the most expensive flat ever sold in Birmingham city centre agreed recently.
Stratford-on-Avon is as close as the West Midlands gets to a “million pound town” with nine properties sold for £1 million or more across the six-month period.
The West Midlands decline follows a national trend, with seven out of 11 UK regions all recording a fall, amounting to an average decline of 11 per cent, according to Lloyds Bank research.
Nationally, it was the first year-on-year dip seen since 2012, although over the last decade overall, the number of million pound home sales has shot up by 264 per cent.
Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The number of homes sold for over £1 million has fallen sharply over the past year.
“However, the regional picture is much more mixed and we’re seeing the emergence of towns where the average price is at least £1 million. Whilst there are several London neighbourhoods where prices are already at this elevated level, outside of the capital this is a first.”
Lloyds Bank said that, for the first time, several areas outside London are now starting to see average property prices edge over the £1 million mark.
However, the majority of these remained in the South East, with areas of Surrey and Buckinghamshire having £1 million-plus averages..
Some 5,599 million pound property sales took place in the first six months of 2015 - of which one in 10 (10 per cent) took place in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea and nine per cent took place in Westminster.
The research also found the sale of multi-million pound homes in the first half of 2015 has fallen significantly compared to the same period a year earlier, with sales in the price range £5 million to £10 million 15 per cent lower, and those selling between £2 million and £5 million down by 26 per cent.
While there could be a number of reasons for the decline, the report pointed out that changes to stamp duty in December 2014 have made the tax more expensive for top-end homes.
The changes mean, for example, that a buyer paying £5 million for their property today needs to find £163,750 more than at this time last year to pay the tax.
Here are the numbers of million-pound property sales that took place across Britain in the first half of 2015, according to Lloyds Bank, and the percentage change compared with the same period in 2014:
North East: Five (minus 67 per cent)
North West: 60 (minus 12 per cent)
Yorkshire and the Humber: 23 (10 per cent)
East Midlands: 32 (minus 16 per cent)
West Midlands: 45 (minus 12 per cent)
East of England: 403 (up eight per cent)
London: 3,703 (minus 15 per cent)
South East: 1,037 (minus nine per cent)
South West: 171 (minus 12 per cent)
Wales: Nine (up 29 per cent)
Scotland: 111 (up 158 per cent)