Almost 600 homes costing £1million or more have been sold in Tunbridge Wells in the past decade

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Almost 600 homes costing £1million or more have been sold in Tunbridge Wells in the past decade, latest figures have shown.

In a sign of the rising cost of property, estate agents have said that the cost of some houses has doubled in that time period.

The BBC’s analysis of the Land Registry, published last week, has shown 587 homes costing £1million or more have sold since 2007 in Tunbridge Wells borough.

This compares to 274 in Tonbridge & Malling, 1,003 in Sevenoaks and 396 in Wealden.

Estate agent Simon Spare, of Thompson Spare in High Street, Tunbridge Wells, said a £1million home in 2018 would have been worth around £500,000 in 2007.

‘I am pleasantly surprised there have been that many sold in Tunbridge Wells’ borough.

‘Properties over £1million are now fairly common and it is not such a massive thing.’

The BBC’s data also showed the most expensive house in Tunbridge Wells borough sold for £9.4million and for £3.8million in Tonbridge & Malling, in the 2007-18 period.

Mr Spare said he first valued a house at £1million in 2000.

‘It used to take something really special to be £1million,’ he continued.

‘But now a five-bedroom semi-detached will be at least £1.1million. Now £1.5million is more special and has become the new £1million.

‘It has only been in the past two or three years we have seen them [£1million homes] coming more to the fore.’

He added: ‘In Tunbridge Wells some [of these properties] are in the town centre and some are in the country.

‘We are only a small estate agency, but have a couple at the moment in Eridge and Langton Green.’

Despite this, Mr Spare said the market was currently in the ‘doldrums’ and that while Tunbridge Wells has traditionally been the more expensive location, the ‘value for money’ factor in Tonbridge could see the gap close.

Howard Kingsnorth, of Barnes Kingsnorth estate agents, in High Street, Tonbridge, said the geography and layout of both towns could explain the difference.

‘There are not that many million pound homes in Tonbridge,’ he said.

‘There are a few in the £800,000 or £900,000 bracket and it is an area that has attracted people coming out of Sevenoaks and London.

‘Transport and school access has played a role in that too.

‘But, quite simply, there are not many £1million homes available. There is the land and space for large houses in Tunbridge Wells, but not in Tonbridge.

‘There is not the land for that type of house here,’ he added, suggesting smaller houses and flats are more likely to be constructed.

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