Wealth Indicators
By : | May 23, 2014

Real estate consultancy Knight Frank releases a comprehensive Wealth Report every year, which offers a unique perspective on the performance of luxury residential properties, commercial property investments, wealth distribution patterns and the spending trends of the world’s most affluent people.

Now in its eight year, the wealth report is repository of invaluable data on Ultra High Networth Individuals, which help luxury brands determine what the growth trends will be like and which markets are likely to see the sharpest growth patterns.


The experts, led by Knight Frank’s global research team, have explored the latest trends, pointed to current opportunities and highlighted some long-term players.

So, how do you figure how much a UHNWI spends, on what, and what are his buying habits, particularly in reference to property? In what they termed as an ‘Attitude Survey’, over 600 bankers or wealth advisors representing over 23,000 HNWIs worldwide were approached to take the survey. Among the facts that the researchers uncovered: The networth of UHNWI individuals increased in 2013 despite an economic slowdown. People with the most bullish sentiments about continuing to create wealth in 2014 came from Europe, the traditional bastion of luxury, and Middle East, where luxury brands have experienced exponential growth over the last decade.



Investing in property

The bankers and wealth managers surveyed claimed that, on an average, every UHNWI has more than two homes. In 2014, about 15 per cent of them were looking at buying homes outside the countries they lived in. Almost a quarter of UHNWI investment portfolios are accounted for by property and as an asset class, it is growing in popularity. Just over 40 per cent of survey respondents said that their clients increased their allocation to property in 2013, while 47 per cent 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%).


Spending trends

Over 36% respondents said that spending on luxury goods will see a sharp increase in 2014. Investments of passion are a growing area of UHNWI spending activity, and a net balance of 44% of the survey’s respondents said that 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, most people belonging to the UHNWI category stated personal pleasure as the main motivation for collecting.