A home priced £1million is no longer the guarantee of excessive luxury it once was. A recent study by estate agency Hamptons International found nearly half of properties bought for that much or more in 2015 were purchased using a mortgage – double the amount acquired that way in 2008.

Hamptons International director of research Fionnuala Earley said: “The proportion of homes over £1million bought with a mortgage is on the rise – especially in London.

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“The last five years of house price growth means that one million pounds buys much less house than it used to.

“And the view that such a property is only within the reach of the super wealthy is rapidly becoming out-dated.”

The estate agency's survey found that in London 58% of £1million plus properties were bought with a mortgage compared to a national average of 46%.

However, the North West saw only 23% purchased that way suggesting homes valued at that level there were still some way above the typical family housing ladder.

Fionnuala said: “In the more expensive regions of London and the South East a £1million home is more likely to be a normal family home rather than an Oligarch’s mansion.

“The availability and cost of finance has also been a factor in the increasing use of mortgages in this house price bracket, indicating that it is a combination of need and availability of finance that has led to the increase.

"Outside of London and the South East, £1million plus homes sit well beyond the top of the average family and the proportion bought with a mortgage is much lower and has risen only slowly.

“In the South West, the second home capital of the UK, fewer than one in four £1million homes are bought with a mortgage.”

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