Where are all the Millionaires?

By : Nick Marr

Once a haven for the European ultra-rich, London appears to have fallen out of favour among millionaires, with other cities throughout the continent and across the globe becoming more popular instead.

Research released in the New World Wealth’s annual Millionaire Migration Report revealed that in 2015, only net 500 millionaires moved into London, compared with 6,000 the previous year. In fact, despite the fact that there are 715,000 millionaires now living in Britain, analysis from the Barclays UK Prosperity Map has shown that of these millionaires, just 191,000 reside in the capital. Many market analysts believe fears over the proposed Mansion Tax in early 2015 may have prompted ultra high net worth buyers to look elsewhere, along with changes to legislation that left buyers liable to pay capital gains tax on a property sold if not their only residence. Additional changes to the stamp duty tax rate are also thought to have played a prominent role in driving millionaires and billionaires to look elsewhere.

So just where are all these millionaires exactly, and could one market in Prime Central London still hold the interest of the European elite? 

Europe’s leading cities for UHNWI

Research has shown that three of the top five global cities in which millionaires live are situated in Europe, with Paris and Frankfurt home to 219,300 and 217,500 millionaires respectively. Although the number of millionaires living in London is down substantially, the city still makes the top five. 

In Frankfurt, there are 75 millionaires per 1,000 people, making it a densely-populated city for the elite and wealthy. Atop the list, which was found in a new report from WealthInsight, was the capital of Japan. More millionaires live in Tokyo than any other city in the world, with 460,700 high net-worth individuals (with assets of $1m) calling the city home. However, in spite of the fact that millionaire property buyers appear to be abandoning the capital, there is one sub-market in Prime Central London that appears to have withstood their waning interest – Mayfair. Even though rates of millionaires moving to the UK and the city of London overall may be down, many are still interested in and moving to Mayfair, according to local property experts Wetherell.

The enduring allure of Mayfair

While several high net worth buyers may have sought out other markets, Mayfair appears to have stood the test of time.

Wetherell have specialised in Mayfair real estate for 34 years, and as the leading local estate agent, they were responsible for over 55 per cent of sales values for 2015. Chief Executive, Peter Wetherell, the man the media has dubbed the ‘Mayfair Guru’, oversees the regular compilation of local property data and analysis. From this analysis it can be seen that over the past ten years, known to many as “Mayfair’s Golden Decade”, the area has seen 90 per cent growth since 2007. This alone makes property in Mayfair not only a desirable home, but also a valuable investment.

So what is it about the area that holds such appeal, when other luxurious neighbourhoods such as Chelsea and Knightsbridge are not experiencing the same uptick? Aside from the historic landscape and world-class architectural design, one need only take a look at the luxurious lifestyle offered by Mayfair to see why it remains so attractive to millionaires. Members only clubs, Michelin star restaurants, world-class shopping and concierge services abound throughout this historic part of London. For the ultra wealthy who not only want to own a slice of property in a central and well appointed location, but also want all the trimmings that come with living in one of London’s most luxurious postcodes, Mayfair is without a doubt one of the most attractive markets imaginable.