It has long been known as the City stockbroker’s green get away, while its leafy lanes are now increasingly likely to be lined with Russian oligarchs. And now, the Surrey village of Virginia Water has been confirmed as the country’s most expensive with the average cost of a home topping £1 million.
Boasting TV legend Bruce Forsyth as a resident, it was crowned the most expensive village in Britain in a survey yesterday.
But the average house price in Virginia Water - where one street, Portnall Rise, has an average cost of £4.3 million, has also climbed six per cent in the past year to tip the normal house price over the million pound threshold.
Nearby Cobham, where Premier League footballers are a frequent sight in supermarket aisles, is Britain’s second most expensive town with an average value of £842,806. While one in three of Britain's 8,320 millionaire streets are in London, outside the capital the biggest clusters are in Surrey.
Revealing a staggering jump in ‘property millionaires’, housing website Zoopla found there had been a 32 per cent rise in homes valued over a million in the last year – a total of 323,684.
The average property value of £36m in Kensington Palace Gardens in west London meant it was predictably named as the UK’s most expensive neighbourhood.
Houses on the Chelsea street are now on average 1,158 times more expensive than the cheapest road in the country, Merryfield Court, in Skegness.
Lawrence Hall, of Zoopla said: "Even lottery winners can only fantasise about owning a home on streets like Kensington Palace Gardens.
"Property values in these super prime areas are astronomically high and have risen substantially in the past year.
"Only the super wealthy can entertain the notion of living on the most expensive streets and they are paying as much for the address and location as they are for the size and quality of the property."
By comparison, villages in the north have seen a much slower rise in property value. All of Britain's 10 most expensive streets and a third of all homes valued over £1m are in London.
Altrincham has the most expensive streets in the North West - with homes averaging £2.4m in Broadway. Harrogate is the most expensive in North East and Otley in Yorkshire and the Humber.
The findings come just days after the Office of National Statistics revealed rents in London had increased at double the pace of those in the North East, the North West and the East Midlands in recent years.
According to their official reports, private rents have risen in the capital by 11% since 2005 whereas the North East has seen only a 5.2% upturn over the last eight year.