By Daniel Hunter

The number of properties selling for over one million pounds declined in 2011; but sales of homes worth more than two million pounds continued to grow, according to research by Lloyds TSB.

The total number of sales of properties that cost at least one million pounds in Great Britain was 5% lower in 2011 (6,911) than in 2010 (7,256). This compares with a 55% increase in 2010 and was the first annual fall in million pound sales since 2009. In total, there are an estimated 165,0001 homes in Britain worth at least one million pounds.

"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," Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said.

"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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