There’s bad news for millionaires. There’s fewer of you around now.

If you have been relegated from the millionaire class, cheer up though, you probably didn’t even realize you were a millionaire in the first place.

According to the Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) there are now just 242,000 millionaires in the UK. The number peaked in 2007 when there were 489,000.

It does rather seem that a lot of those millionaires in 2007 had just got there by the skin of their teeth, when house prices were soaring. CEBR says “many perhaps without ever knowing that they had become millionaires for a temporary period.“ House prices have since gone into freefall, hence the drop in millionaires.

CEBR says: “The decline in wealth for people in this category is reflected in sales of luxury products. Sales of Bentley cars are down this year to date by 66 per cent; sales of BMWs are down by 35 per cent against an overall decline in car sales of 29 per cent.”

But as a famous TV character once said: “Cheer up Rodney, this time next year we will be millionaires.” Well, maybe it will take two years. CEBR says: “With property prices near to bottoming out, we would expect the number of millionaires to start to rise again in 2011.”

© Investment & Business News 2013