The number of people who own propery worth £1m and more has rocketed during the course of the last decade.

Data compiled by Santander Mortgages (formerly Abbey) shows that the UK is now home to 393% more property millionaires than it was at the start of the century. It calculates that there are currently 131,996 homes worth over £1m in this country, almost a five-fold increase on the 26,776 that existed in the year 2000.

When property prices fell following the onset of the credit crunch, 43,000 properties lost their £1m+ status. However, since 2009 the market for top-end properties has recovered strongly. Over the past year, the number of £1m+ properties has risen by around 29,000, returning the number of property millionaires close to its early 2008 peak when there were 147,000 of them.

The recovery at the top-end of the market has been largely attributed to overseas buyers looking for a good home for their capital and some bankers continuing to enjoy large bonuses.

Around 78% of £1m+ homes are located in London, with the capital’s SW post code holding 29%. London’s SE postcode area has also showed a staggering 23-fold increase in its number of property millionaires in the past decade.

Phil Cliff, director of mortgages at Santander, said:

“For many of us our ‘home is our castle’ and in recent years we’ve often viewed our home as a key investment too. Whether you’re a property millionaire or not, prospective buyers and those remortgaging need to ensure they get a fair deal on their house and mortgage.

Nigel Lewis, analyst at property website, commented:

“It’s amazing how fast £1m+ property prices have recovered since the dark days of mid-2008 when the market experienced significant price reductions.

“Our research shows that the number of million pound homes for sale has risen considerably over the past year and the number of people looking to buy them has also jumped by 20% – so it’s no wonder that the prime property market is recovering so fast.”