Sir Martin Laing and family has nearly tripled its wealth in the past 12 months, despite selling Laing Construction to Ray O'Rourke for £1, according to figures published in The Sunday Times.
The Laings now have a stake of about 16.5%, worth £40m, in the the remaining property and housebuilding parts of the Laing group, but they also own most of Eskmuir Properties, a firm with net assets of £132m in 2000, according to the newspaper's "Rich List".

The O'Rourke family increased its wealth by one-third to £90m this year from an estimated £60m last year, bringing it into contention with the Wates, whose marketable wealth rose from £65m to £90m.

This is still small beer compared with the seriously minted Keith Miller and family. They climbed to £265m from £185m in 2001.

Other industry high achievers were were Persimmon owner Duncan Davidson, who now has a fortune of £95m, up from £65m last year, and Galliard Homes owner Stephen Conway, whose asset value has risen from £35m last year to £90m today.

Tom Bloxham, owner of developer Urban Splash, has appeared on the list for the first time with his fortune of £55m. Peter Prowting and family also makes their debut with a pile worth £77m.

Tony Pidgley, who has a £32m stake in Berkeley Homes, saw his personal wealth slip from £60m to £48m.