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Luxury real estate defies Brexit: London is becoming more and more attractive for the super-rich
London The UK's exit from the EU is imminent and is causing many a headache in the capital, London. According to a recent study, nobody in London has to worry about the metropolis on the Thames losing its attractiveness for the super-rich of this world.
The study carried out on behalf of the real estate consultancy Knight Frank by the market research firm New World Wealth from Johannesburg assumes that the number of super-rich Londoners will rise by 30 percent in the next ten years: By 2026, exactly 6,058 super-rich should have a domicile in the British capital .
According to the definition of the study authors, those who call themselves a fortune of at least 30 million dollars can count themselves among the super rich. This makes them a very sought after target group for major asset managers such as the UBS Group and Citigroup. However, New York remains the most attractive city for the super-rich, according to the study.
The forecast for a higher density of super-rich people in London dampens recent fears about the city's declining attractiveness. They had been nourished because the number of so-called investor visas collapsed by 80 percent in 2016. In the previous year, the authorities had introduced new controls against money laundering. According to government sources, no more than 215 such visas have been issued in the past year.
"The upcoming Brexit process will not result in a lower percentage of the extremely wealthy in the UK," wrote New World Wealth's lead study Andrew Amoils. On the contrary, the influx of further so-called high net worth individuals (HNWI) can be expected. Wealthy people moving to the UK viewed the country as the dominant center of finance in Europe. It is also the only large English-speaking economy on the continent. Another result: the traditional relations of the British with the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will strengthen again after Brexit.
Looking at the luxury real estate market in isolation, however, according to the study, drops London to a weak 92nd place. According to Knight Frank, prices fell by 6.3 percent in 2016, which was primarily due to a change in taxation. Towards the end of the year the sales volume increased, as did the market sentiment. Luxury property prices are expected to stagnate in 2017, which sets London apart from other global metropolises such as Shanghai and Sydney, where prices are expected to continue to rise.
More and more super-rich in Asia
The number of ultra-rich people worldwide was put at 193,000 last year - by 2026, more than 275,000 is expected. The highest rates of increase were found in emerging countries such as Vietnam and Sri Lanka as well as in India and China. These fast-growing economies resulted in more wealth, the study says.
Asian cities like Puna, Ho Chi Minh City, Hyderabad and Bangalore are forecast to have the highest growth in the super-rich in the next decade. Mumbai is expected to join Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong in the top ten most attractive cities for the super-rich.
Knight Frank found out that almost a third of the super-rich want to invest in real estate outside of their main residence. The investment volume of the Chinese in US residential real estate increased from barely 300 million dollars to almost 30 billion dollars between 2006 and 2016. The Chinese currently account for almost one in five luxury property purchases in the country.
According to the study, not all regions of the world will see growth in the super-rich in the next ten years. Growth has stalled in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Some wealthy people also planned to leave Europe. The reason given in the study is a combination of higher taxes and social security contributions as well as the outflow of highly qualified jobs to Asia.
Ultra-rich migrants, as the study calls them, are likely to continue to find themselves in around half a dozen “safe havens” - the United Arab Emirates, Monaco, Israel and Canada, where fiscal and political stability are paired with a high level of quality of life . According to Knight Frank, almost 400 ultra-high-net-worth people live in the residential area of Ras Al Akhdar in the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi alone.
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