TRYING to get a foot on the property ladder has become a major issue to millions of would-be home owners across the south.

But spare a thought for those prospective buyers out there who just can’t find the right home – even though they have £864m to spend.

One Hampshire estate agent has revealed that it has hundreds of clients with that total amount of money to spend househunting in some of the county’s most exclusive areas.

Strutt and Parker says it has more than 700 clients on its database all searching for an upmarket home in Hampshire with hundreds of millions of pounds to invest.

And it is no surprise, because a study has revealed that the exclusive housing market in the county is booming, and well on the road to recovery.

Ten areas of the county have seen the average price of homes hit above £500,000, with some areas seeing average properties edging £800,000.

Homeowners in Cheriton and Bishops Sutton have seen the average price of a home increase by 100 per cent in the last 10 years.

For many areas the jump in house prices is due to Londoners leaving the city and heading to commuter areas outside of the capital.

Called The Most Expensive Housing Markets of England and Wales, the report, compiled by estate agents Savills and analysts Property Database, shows how the property market has shot up in the south-east over the last decade.

It mainly highlights the changes in the London area but has shown how property prices in the commuter belt are beginning to rise.

George Burnand, partner of estate agents Strutt and Parker and head of its Winchester office, said: “London has had it good for many years, even through the financial crisis.

"There’s an expectation that the country market is about to benefit, with people migrating out.

“We have got an awful lot of people looking to buy in Winchester and the surrounding area.

“In this neck of the woods we have exceptionally good state and private schools, we have beautiful countryside and we have train links that get you into London in an hour.

“When you start looking at where people are going to move to, Winchester is an obvious place.”

But other places in Hampshire are also benefitting from the housing boom.

Parts of the New Forest and Test Valley have also seen house prices increase. House prices in the Forest North West ward have risen by 10 per cent in the past five years, while in Boldre and Sway that have gone up by 25 per cent.