The number of UK property millionaires on the books of Hamptons International has nearly doubled in the last three years, says a new report. Their figures reveal that 21% of their properties were sold in excess of £1million during 2008 (year to date), compared to just 12% in 2006.

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These millionaires are not just in London: surprisingly the West Country has witnessed the greatest increase in the number of applicants seeking properties over £1million, Hamptons says.

In the first quarter of 2008, approximately 70% of buyers with more than £1 million to invest were looking to purchase in London. Properties worth over £1m sold by Hamptons this year so far made up 31% of purchases in London and 17% in the rest of the country

The West Country (and Somerset in particular) has seen the biggest rise in the numbers of new millionaires, with applicant figures almost quadrupling since the first quarter of 2007.

In the South East applicants registering for properties over £1 million in Q1 2008 is up by 27%. Comparatively, London has seen a 6% rise during the same time period.

The value of properties over and above £1 million has also risen significantly as there were 3.5 times more homes sold over £3 million in 2008 than in 2005.

‘The figures highlight the demand for luxury properties across the country today – both from UK and overseas investors,’ said John Little from Hamptons International.

‘Whilst the number of property millionaires continues to rise in London, we are seeing an increasing number of nigh net worth buyers looking further afield. This has been growing year-on-year. Undoubtedly, a London address will always be a popular investment – however, exclusivity is hard to find and many £1m plus buyers are now realizing the benefits locations such as the West Country can provide.

‘We have witnessed a growing number of high net worth individuals moving to the West Country sooner than in previous years, and this is particularly true of young families wishing to take advantage of the excellent schools on offer. In fact, we are seeing a real reversal – with £1m plus country properties now increasingly acting as the family base and a smaller London pad being kept for the purpose of working during the week or City entertaining.’

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