The number of £1million homes being sold in Sussex is soaring, new figures have revealed.

Research from Halifax Estate Agents highlights that there has been an almost three-fold increase in the number of million pound property sales in England and Wales over the past five years.

There are now an estimated 88,000 homes valued above £1 million in the country, with Sussex towns featuring prominently on the list.

A total of 45 homes have been sold for £1million or more in Chichester over the past five years, topping the Sussex league. There were 39 sold in Brighton and Hove, 38 in Horsham, 32 in Haywards Heath and 10 in Lewes.

At the lower end of the table, Eastbourne and Worthing both saw three £1million sales, Battle two, and Hastings and Burgess Hill one each.

Experts say it is no coincidence the majority of those sales were clustered over the last two years.

Charles Peck, a Chichester estate agent with 30 years experience, said: "I am quite surprised that Chichester tops the league as I know there are plenty of million-pound properties in Brighton and Hove.

"However Chichester is a beautiful cathedral city where a large proportion of people come to live, not work. It is not too large and is sandwich by the sea on one side and the South Downs on the other, and it is fine for commuting to London.

"There has definitely been a sharp rise in the number of million-pound properties over the past couple of years."

Other Sussex towns featured on the list include Arundel with eight £1million sales in the last five years, with six in Littlehampton and Hassocks, five in Steyning and one in Seaford.

Sarah McCarthy, senior negotiator at Mishon Mackay estate agents, in Hove, said: "Brighton and Hove has been a desirable location for buyers for many years now.

"It is a thriving city by the sea and there is a lot of money being pumped into it. The city also offers easy access to London and the commute time can be the same from brighton as it can to get to work across London.

"Despite house prices being pushed up, they are still cheap compared to London which is why lots of buyers look down here. It is no surprise the number of million pound homes is increasing."

A list of average house prices released earlier this year revealed the most expensive streets in Sussex. Top of the list was Wrens Warren, Chuck Hatch, in Ashdown Forest, where the average house price as £1.7 million, followed by Bosham Hoe, in Bosham (£1.1million), Montpelier Villas, Brighton (£981,000), Charlton Gardens in Ditchling (£968,000) and Tongdean Avenue, Hove (£930,000).

Colin Kemp, Managing Director at Halifax Estate Agents, said: "Million pound property sales are now taking place right across England and Wales and not just in inner London.

"At the same time, million pound property clusters are emerging - and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down."

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