London is the most popular city for millionaire second homes

Research into overseas second home ownership of millionaires by wealth consultancy WealthInsight, has revealed the top five most popular cities.

The research findings revealed some interesting trends in second home ownership:

  • While London is the most popular city for second home ownership, demand in the UK outside London and the South East is limited. The US, by contrast, is by far the most popular country with three cities in the top five
  • Second only to Europeans, London homes are most popular among Arab and African millionaires. This reflects recent trends identified by London estate agents in property purchases from these regions
  • Among billionaires, London is also the most popular location for second home ownership. Ranked by billionaire residents though it falls to fourth place behind New York, Moscow and Hong Kong

WealthInsight study looks exclusively at those buying or owning property outside their home country.

It goes without saying that a large population of wealthy individuals call London home,” says Oliver Williams, Head of WealthInsight. The capital is home to a total of 289,500 millionaires according to WealthInsight 2014 data.

But it has long been apparent that central London’s population swells during the summer months when many wealthy families temporarily relocate to the capital’s more desirable areas, where many own second homes. According to Williams, there are a multitude of reasons for this seasonal migration: “When looking at the data it was unsurprising to see that London was the favoured second home destination of Middle Eastern and African millionaires - many come during July and August to escape the heat in their home countries. Others will be motivated by different reasons: the largest overseas citizenship for London second home ownership, however, is the colder climes of Russia, followed by the US.

This data comes when many of London’s high-end estate agents are seeing a slackening in demand in central London homes. “Second home ownership in London is incredibly popular among millionaires from emerging markets. Just short of 13% of second home owning millionaires from emerging markets have a London residence. The recent slump in emerging market stock markets and, in turn, their currencies would therefore have a profound effect on any future second home shoppers in the capital,” Williams explains.

Next Finance , August 2015

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