Country houses for sale

Property still asset of choice for HNWIs

The latest Knight Frank Wealth Report, which seeks to tap into attitudes of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI), has sought to find out what these people want to invest in and where they would like to live.  

As an asset class, property is certainly important: according to the survey results, on average 28% of these people’s net worth is accounted for by their main house and any second homes, of which, on average, they own 2.4.

According to leading wealth advisors across the globe, just over a fifth of UHNWIs are considering buying another home in 2014, while 15% are thinking about permanently changing their domicile of country of residence. Quality of life was cited as the main reason for wanting to make a move and the UK the country people were most likely to head to.

Just over 40% of survey respondents said their clients increased their investment allocation to property in 2013 and 47% expect it to increase further in 2014. Residential property was the most popular area to invest in (54%), followed by commercial premises (34%) and agricultural land and forestry (12%).

As well as property, the survey asked how the popularity of other asset classes was changing. Reflecting the general increase in appetite for risk among investors, equities were growing in popularity the most, with a net balance of 65% of respondents saying their clients were likely to increase their exposure to stocks and shares in 2014.

Gold and commodities were out of favour as investments, with a net balance of 26% saying their clients would be reducing their exposure to them, the report found.

Luxury goods were on the up, as advisors predicted a 36% spending increase on luxury items, while investments of passion are a growing area of UHNWI spending activity: 44% of the survey’s respondents said their clients were becoming more interested in collecting art, with 34% reporting wine was gaining in popularity and 32% cars and watches.

Despite their investment potential, personal pleasure was still considered the main motivation by far for collecting.

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