SCOTLAND has overtaken London as the fastest-moving market for million-pound properties as “millionaire movers” swap their city commutes for more rural retreats, according to Rightmove.

Top-end homes in Scotland are ­finding a buyer in 61 days on ­average – 25 days faster than before the ­coronavirus pandemic when it took 86 days, the website said.

The analysis compared the year ­before the pandemic with the year since the housing market re-opened.

John Boyle, director at Rettie & Co in Scotland, said: “The Scottish £1 million market has proven to be resilient in the face of the pandemic.

“Just like the wider housing market here, demand has been moving well ahead of supply, leading to price rises and fast-moving sales.

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“The market is particularly strong in the east of the country, with Edinburgh alone accounting for well over half of all Scottish £1m sales. However, other areas are seeing rising £1m sales, particularly in outlying areas of the wider Lothians market, with sales outside Edinburgh notably higher in the east compared with recent years.”

London’s overall influence on the prime property market appears to have weakened slightly, with some people now able to work from home looking to move to spacious properties located away from the city.

With more workers having some flexibility to move out of London, the South East of England recorded the biggest increase in the share of ­million pound homes across Britain, rising from 26% to 29%.

James Wyatt, director at Barton Wyatt in Virginia Water, Surrey, said: “During 2020 we saw many UK buyers and tenants moving out of London, keeping us busy. In 2021 we have seen no let up, but now also have seen the return of international buyers.”

Stockbridge in Hampshire was identified as having the biggest rise in the proportion of homes that are selling for a million pounds or over. The percentage of all sales in the area worth one million pounds or more has jumped from 11% to 26%.

The fastest-moving area outside London is Thames Ditton in Surrey, where million pound homes are finding a buyer in just 26 days typically.

With good travel links to London, Hertfordshire is also home to many fast-moving hotspots, with leafy Berkhamsted, St Albans and Hitchin also on the list.

Over the past year, million-pound homes in London have taken an average of 67 days to find a buyer.

This compared with an average of 85 days before the pandemic.

Overall, London has shifted from being the fastest-selling region to fifth position, behind Scotland, the East of England, South East and the East Midlands.