High net worth individuals spending patterns

Monday, 10 March 2014
London is home to the world's most ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI), and by ultra-high net worth we mean assets of 30 million dollars or more. In a new report commissioned by luxury estate agents Knight Frank, the world's uber rich individuals will increase 30 percent to 215,000. In terms of spending power, these individuals control more than 20 trillion dollars in assets, more than the national output of the US and Germany put together.

Where do the uber rich shop?

The question, of course, is how do these individuals like to spend their wealth, and which products are they drawn to? Other than fashion's luxury goods, such as Hermès and Louis Vuitton, the survey discovered the ultra rich spend money on jewellery, followed by art, watches, wine and cars.

London is home to more UHNWIs (4,224) than any other city in 2013 and this will still be the case a decade later, with nearly 5,000 expected to be living there, according to the report.

Singapore and New York will leapfrog Tokyo and Hong Kong to take second and third places. The top six cities have more UHNWIs living in them than Latin America and the Middle East combined.

Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank, told The Guardian newspaper the cluster of businesses, international appeal, heritage and democratic institutions in London and New York are not easy to replicate. But, he said: "London wins over New York: It's more diverse. There are more nationalities living here and it's a more global city."

Britain is the number one destination for those seeking a new domicile, although the US is still more popular with the Asian wealth elite. Russia has seen an outflow of ultra-rich individuals to places like London, New York and Dubai.

New York is to overtake London again as the most important city for the ultra-rich by 2023, but in coming decades both could be eclipsed by Asian cities, where luxury property markets are booming.

The numbers of super-rich are forecast to double in Africa and India in the next decade. In China the ranks of the ultra-wealthy will soar by 80 percent.

Image: Hermès Birkin bag