Ed Sheeran bought his £57 million property empire in cash.

The 'Lego House' hitmaker - who is worth an estimated £200 million - didn't need to take out mortgages to help cover the cost of his multiple UK houses so owns them all outright.

His impressive property portfolio includes his vast estate in Suffolk, which is comprised of five houses he bought for a total of $4 million, beginning with one £895,000 abode in 2012.

An insider told The Sun Online: ''He has a great portfolio of properties and he owns the lot free and clear. There was no need to borrow the cash from a lender because he already had it.

''Some people have the cash tied up so need to raise a mortgage but Ed has piles of the cash in the bank so there was no point in letting a bank earn money by lending him the money. He just bought them outright.''

Ed - who is married to Cherry Seaborn - also owns a £20 million house in Notting Hill in west London, and later shelled out another £4 million to buy the homes on either side, while he also has a property in Covent Garden in the centre of the capital, two flats close to Battersea Dogs and Cats home in south London, and restaurant Bertie Blossoms, which cost him £1.5 million.

Some of the homes were purchased through Maverick Properties - the company Ed set up in 2015 with his manager Stuart Camp - while others were bought in his own name.

The 29-year-old singer has previously admitted he used to sleep on underground trains while homeless and trying to find success in London.

He explained: ''I didn't have anywhere to live for much of 2008 and the whole of 2009 and 2010, but somehow I made it work. I knew where I could get a bed at a certain time of night and I knew who I could call at any time to get a floor to sleep on. Being sociable helped. Drinking helped.

''I spent a week catching up on sleep on Circle Line trains. I'd go out and play a gig, wait until 5am when the Underground opened, sleep on the Circle Line until 12, go to a session - and then repeat.

''It's not like I was sleeping rough on the cold streets.''