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High-worth homes on the increase

New figures have shown a big North/South divide in the performance of the high-value property market.

The number of properties worth more than £1 million has increased by six per cent during 2010, despite a difficult year for the housing market.

However, properties in the South have fared much better, with the number of million-plus homes in London, the South East and the East of England jumping by double digits during the year.

This is in contrast to Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber, where the number of properties worth a seven-figure sum halved over the past 12 months.

An estimated 12,811 homes broke through the seven-figure threshold during the year - the equivalent of 35 a day - to bring the total number of homes worth at least £1 million to 226,344, according to property website Zoopla.co.uk.

The group said one in every 118 homes in Great Britain was now worth at least £1 million, although this is still well down on the one in 97 properties that were worth this amount at the peak of the market in 2007.

Nick Leeming, of Zoopla.co.uk, said: "The North versus South wealth divide is now starker than ever. Property values have recovered well at the top end of the property market but the rest of the market and particularly the North have seen a steep decline in high-end property values.

"The prime market in the South has been impacted far less by the mortgage squeeze as a result of the inflow of foreign money and the strength in the City keeping demand for million pound pads at peak levels."

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