One in 79 Britons over the age of 21 is now a millionaire thanks to the relentless rise of property prices.

The number is up from one in 84 last year and is the highest level on record, according to a report published today.

It means Britain is now home to 625,000 millionaires, with the number of people worth at least £1,000,000 ($1.8 million) having increased by 44,000 over the past 12 months and by 142,500 since 2010, according to Daily Mail.

The Barclays Wealth report shows every region of the UK saw an increase in the number of millionaires in the last year except Scotland where house prices have been hit by the crisis in the oil industry.


Experts said rising house prices meant the "millionaire" tag was no longer reserved for those with "extreme wealth".

Nearly half of millionaires in the UK live in London and the South East where property prices are typically higher than they are in the rest of the country.

London, where the average house price is £482,000 ($869,000), is home to 165,000 millionaires, or 26.4 per cent of the UK total.

In other parts of the South East, where a typical home costs £320,000, there are 130,000 millionaires, or 20.8 per cent of the total.

The North East is the region with the fewest millionaires, according to the UK Prosperity Map published today by Barclays Wealth.

There are just 12,000 people worth at least £1,000,000 ($1.8 million) in the area, or 1.9 per cent of the total.

The average house price here is £130,000 ($234,000).

Wales and Northern Ireland each have 12,500 millionaires while Scotland is home to 30,500.


This is down on the 32,500 millionaires recorded in Scotland in 2010 - with the fall thought to be due to the slump in the oil price in recent years.

This has hit the North Sea oil and gas industry hard, resulting in thousands of job losses, and depressing house prices in areas such as Aberdeen.

The biggest increase in the proportion of millionaires came in the East Midlands and the South West, up 11.1 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively.

House prices in the East Midlands are among the fastest growing in the country, rising by more than 7 per cent in the last 12 months to an average of £182,000 ($327,000), according to the Office for National Statistics.

Dena Brumpton, chief executive of Barclays Wealth & Investments, said: "It's interesting to note that the regions that have seen the greatest advance in millionaire numbers, namely the East Midlands and the South West, have both seen healthy upticks in property prices. The regions that have seen lower growth in millionaire numbers - for example, London - have typically experienced slower house price growth over the same period."

A report by estate agent Savills shows the number of homes in the UK worth £1million or more has doubled in the past ten years to nearly 400,000.

Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills, said: "A £1million-plus home isn't exactly run of the mill, but nor is quite the benchmark it was ten years ago. And where once outside London only a large detached rectory or farmhouse came with such a price tag, it now applies to terraced townhouses in some regional hotspots."

Paul Cheshire, professor of economic geography and the London School of Economics, said: "The term "millionaire" has long been reserved for those considered to have extreme wealth. A distant aspiration that was unattainable for the vast majority of the UK. As house prices continue to climb, the million pound marker becomes less of a pipe dream for many of those nearing the top of the ladder."