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The world's richest eye up the world's biggest cities


If you think the world's wealthiest 1 per cent throw caution to the wind when it comes to financial decisions, think again. Latest research shows even the ultra rich want more bang for their buck.

A report by global real estate firm Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) shows, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) highlighted the need for investors to rethink their choices. It drove home the message that consistent financial returns are what makes any form of investment worthwhile. So, instead of investing in exquisite art or spending on a luxury villa in the South of France, the world's wealthiest 1 per cent are eyeing up trophy properties in commercial hubs. 

JLL's Research director of global capital markets David Morgan says this change of preferences is a result of the GFC. In fact, such investment choices by the Ultra High Net Worths (UHNWs) were unheard of until even five years ago.

There are a growing number of UHNWs eyeing up prestigious commercial properties in the world's biggest cities. Taking the fancy of the richest are buildings such as the HSBC tower, the GM building in New York, the Gherkin in London and the Paris Marriott Hotel.

Ranking as the world's top three most active investment cities, London, Paris and New York are capturing the imagination of the wealthiest particularly well, according to JLL.

However, if recent trends are anything to go by, the deep pocketed are determined to purchase buildings that make a statement.   

The UHNWs are after iconic buildings with unique characteristics that offer wealth preservation qualities as well. 

Investment, like owning a precious rug or a vintage car, is about matter of prestige says Head of JLL's International Capital Group Mathew Richards. 

"I suspect part of the reason commercial property is appealing is because they can say they own a hotel on the Champs Elysee," says Mr Richards.

Date Published: 22 Mar 2015
Category: General News

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