Premier League stars are struggling to find homes in the so-called 'Golden Triangle' - because they are 'scrambling' against each other for luxury mansions in the super-rich area.
Liverpool ace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has told how he would often bump into Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson when they were both house-hunting - and found himself in competition with the likes of Aaron Lennon and Riyad Mahrez.
The footballers were all looking for homes in Cheshire's Golden Triangle - the area between Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Prestbury where property prices average more than £1.5million.
The super-affluent area is a magnet for Premier League footballers, with mansions being snapped up by stars from Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Everton.
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal for £35m in August 2017, and had to live in a hotel for two months while he looked for a place to live.
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The 25-year-old England international, whose girlfriend is Perrie Edwards of pop group Little Mix, would often bump into Sigurdsson at breakfast as the Icelandic attacker had joined Everton from Swansea at around the same time.
Oxlade-Chamberlain said he Sigurdsson were "both in the same situation".
He told The Telegraph: "Both scrambling for a house, probably viewing the same house and then it’s like a race. I might see a house and be stalling for a day and next thing I get a call and, oh no, Aaron Lennon (once of Everton, now at Burnley) has paid up front.
"I go and view a house and I’m told, ‘Just to let you know, Riyad Mahrez is viewing it today.’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh God, I’ve got my work cut out there – Mahrez has signed for City.’”
Many footballers are looking to rent rather than buy, as they might stay at a club for only three or four years before moving on - but because footballers switch clubs during the limited windows of January and the close season, the rental market has become extremely competitive.
It can cost up to an eye-watering £15,000 a month to rent a property in the Golden Triangle, with today's footballers wanting luxury pads with swimming pools, modern technology and a large garden.
Estate agent Peter Higham, of Gasgoine Hallman estate agents, told the Telegraph: “The rental market in Cheshire is competitive because the owners of these large luxury properties very rarely want to rent them out, usually opting to sell them.
“Footballers also tend to want a very specific type of property – they want the modern technology, they want the pool, the security and the large garden.
“You would not see the modern footballer buying a 1930s red brick – they want it new and bespoke.
“When I first started dealing with footballers, they were all purchasing property because their agents wanted them to get settled in the area,” he said.
“But because the modern footballer very rarely stays at one club for more than a few years, the agents are telling them to rent – because they could be somewhere else in a few years’ time.
“If you think of the old-school footballer, he would have stayed in town for five years or more. It’s not like that anymore.”