The number of homes in the East of England valued at £1 million or more has increased by 74 per over the past three years, according to latest figures from Savills.

Higher price growth and increased demand for larger properties saw 4,144 properties cross over the £1m threshold in 2022 alone.

This brings the total number of properties now valued at £1m or more in the East to 72,500 – a six per cent rise year on year and a 74 per cent increase over the last three years.

According to the research, Chelmsford has seen one of the largest increases in £1m-plus homes over the last three years – with 361 properties now over the seven-figure threshold (an increase of 79 per cent).

Elsewhere in the region South Cambridgeshire has seen a rise of 75 per cent, with 273 homes now valued at £1m or more and Uttlesford an increase of 72 per cent (335).

Ed Meyer, head of residential sales at Savills in Cambridge, said the price growth had been fuelled by strong demand during the pandemic and people going in search of more space.

He said: “The number of property millionaires has shot up over the past three years as a consequence  of the post-lockdown property market, with people placing more value than ever on their home and lifestyle.

“Once a London phenomenon, new one million-pound hotspots emerged across the breadth of Great Britain in the wake of the pandemic, as affluent home buyers changed priorities in the search for more space. This led to particularly strong demand in well-connected rural areas in South Cambridgeshire such as The Shelfords, as well as Saffron Walden just across the border in Essex.

“However, as some of the lifestyle drivers begin ease, we’re now starting to see a slight rebalancing, with several buyers at the start of the year focusing on a return to town and city centre properties, close to plenty of amenities.”

Karl Manning, head of residential sales at Savills in Chelmsford, said: “Chelmsford was particularly well placed because it has a wide variety of good quality family housing, superb connectivity to London, is not too far from the coast and is surrounded by plenty of countryside.

“Immediate villages and city centre houses still seem to be in demand but pricing is very important.  Properties requiring improvement or offering something a little bit different are also attracting interest.

“While we expect the top end of the market to be less affected by higher interest rates and cost of living pressures than the mainstream, it is not entirely immune. That suggests 2022 will represent something of a high water market for £1m+ homes for a few years at least.”

Nationally, there are now 730,390 homes valued at £1m or more –  equivalent to one in every 40 homes, or 2.5 per cent of all housing stock.

Over the past three years, the number of £1m-plus homes in Great Britain has increased by some 40 per cent, however this is slightly down from a peak of over 760,000 homes in September 2022 during the height of the pandemic induced property boom.

More than half (53 per cent) of £1m homes are now located outside of London. This is the highest proportion in at least the past 15 years.

The South West has seen the number of homes sold above £1m double (+104 per cent) since 2019, however Wales saw the largest percentage increase in property millionaires – up 146 per cent on 2019. But this region still accounts for the smallest percentage of £1m properties (0.3 per cent), one in every 293 homes.

In absolute terms, the largest increase in the number of property millionaires has been in the South East of England, where one in every 22.4 homeowners have seen their home tip over £1m in the past three years.

Elsewhere, there are now over 10,000 homes in Scotland worth over £1m for the first time, over half of which are in Edinburgh.

Image source: Savills

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