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Bricks and mortar remain top priority for millionaires

For most millionaires, owning bricks and mortar remains a top priority with 49.9% of the UK’s wealthiest people owning more than one property in the UK according to Skandia’s "Millionaire Monitor" report 2012.

Furthermore millionaires under the age of 50 are significantly more likely to invest in multiple properties with over 60% of the rich under the age of 50 owning more than one property compared to 42% if they are over the age of 50.

They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, but is this strictly true? Female millionaires it appears are in fact more likely that their male counterparts to own more than one property with 20% choosing to own overseas versus 16% of men.

But why exactly is owning property so appealing to millionaires?

Personal use is the driving force for second homes, perhaps a country pad, a pied-a-terre or a place by the sea to retreat to for long weekends. Having a home away from home to relax and recharge the batteries before heading back to the daily grind is clearly high on the wish list.

With second homes in mind, the Skandia report interestingly also revealed that in July 2011 the volume of UK high net worth individuals planning on leaving the UK was 7.7% compared to only 3.6% this year. Good news for the high end domestic property market.

Further boosting this sector is the ever increasing number of high net worth foreign nationals relocating to the UK, especially the South East, keen to experience a far greater degree of safety and security for their family than other parts of the globe.

Barton Wyatt, a high-end estate agency located in the heart of in Surrey examined its prospective home buyers this year compared previous years discovering that 75% of their clients are from overseas rising from 65% last year. This figure appeared to reflect the same values for both the sales and the rental market and this increase in overseas clients poses some interesting challenges to the team at Barton Wyatt.

James Wyatt, owner of Barton Wyatt, said: "When I first started working in this area 25 years ago I would have suggested the population of foreigners living in Virginia Water was 5%. This figure has markedly increased to around 20% with droves of overseas nationals attracted here by the wonderful standard of living that the Wentworth Estate offers and often for the high standard of private education available on our doorstep.

"Our foreign clients also look to this area due to the value for money they achieve as opposed to living in central London. The sporting venues in the locality are another driver – golf, Ascot and Guards polo – and of course the area has become well known for attracting families from overseas which in turn creates more interest."

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