The number of millionaire households across the UK has risen by 29 per cent to 3.6 million in two years, official figures show.
With people tying up more money in property and private pensions, an ever growing number of households is worth £1million or more.
On average, households in the UK had a net wealth of £259,000 by June 2016, which is 15 per cent more than the previous two-year period.
Getting rich: The number of millionaire households across the UK has risen by 29 per cent to 3.6 million in two years
In total, British households held a net wealth of around £1.7trillion at the end of 2016, up from £1.1trillion in the previous two years, the Office for National Statistics said.
Wealth encompasses pension savings, investments, belongings, and property values less any outstanding mortgage.
With the number of millionaires on the up, the wealth of the top 10 per cent of households was five times that of the bottom half combined by the end of 2016, giving rise to debates over wealth inequality in the UK.
The richest 10 per cent of households held 44 per cent of the country’s total net wealth, while the poorest half held only 9 per cent.
Explaining why households appear to be getting wealthier, the ONS said people are tying up more money in pensions and property.
Total private pension wealth increased by 20 per cent from £4.4trillion to £5.3trillion between 2012/14 and 2014/16, but a third of this rise was due to market factors rather than people ploughing more cash into their pensions.
This increase in wealth linked to property was reflected in regional breakdowns of the numbers.
Median net property wealth in London was £351,000 by June 2016, which is a third higher than two years earlier.
There were signs of Londoners choosing to put money into a deposit for a home, rather than into savings or shares. The amount of financial wealth in London fell the sharpest compared with other areas of the country.
Average household wealth overall was highest in the South East of England at £381,000 by June 2016, followed by the South West of England (£336,000).
The lowest was in the North East of England, with median average household wealth at £163,000.
What does wealth mean? Wealth encompasses pension savings, investments, belongings, and property values less any outstanding mortgage
Breaking it down: Breakdown of aggregate total wealth, according to the ONS’s latest data
Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Old Mutual wealth and financial planning expert, Rachael Griffin, said: ‘On the surface, these figures look encouraging, but dig a little deeper and some alarming trends emerge.
‘Over the past few years UK households seem to be doing a little better in general, but there are still questions about long-term financial wellbeing and there is more to be done to galvanise our prospects for future prosperity.
‘While pension wealth has increased, much of this is down to market growth rather than people actually setting more aside.
‘And while overall wealth has increased, a lot of this is down to property price rises, which is a fragile basis for a financial plan.
‘Banking your future prosperity on a rising property market is a risky business, and is no substitute for a well-diversified saving and investment plan. And house price rises are more-or-less a zero sum game, whereby homeowners benefit at the expense of those hoping to get on the ladder.’
Where’s the money coming from: People are tying up more money in pensions and property
Digging a little deeper into the figures also revealed that while average household wealth has increased, so have debts.
In the period July 2014 to June 2016, the aggregate level of household debt was £1.23trillion, which is 7 per cent higher than the figure in the period from July 2012 to June 2014.
Greer and Griffin said: ‘This suggest a form of ‘lifestyle creep’, in which an improving economy has lifted the financial outlook for households but at the same time we have allowed ourselves to take on an equal amount of leverage.
‘That suggests behaviours and attitudes haven’t really changed as a result of the financial crisis, and instead of setting more money aside in the good years, we are relaxing into a familiar pattern of debt accumulation.’
Debts: In the period July 2014 to June 2016, the aggregate level of household debt was £1.23trillion