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UHNW buyers seek non-traditional homes abroad, says study

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An increasing number of ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals are buying non-traditional homes outside their domiciles, according to a new study by Wealth-X and the Sotheby's International Realty brand.

Wealth-X has identified more than 211,000 ultra high net worth individuals globally – defined as those with USD30 million and above in net assets – and 79% of them own two or more residences.
 
The Wealth-X and Sotheby's International Realty UHNW Luxury Real Estate: Multi-Homers Report reveals that these UHNW buyers look for residences that are environmentally sustainable, technologically sophisticated, or that fit better with their personal and family needs.
 
The report reveals that the average UHNW Multi-homer is 63 years old, has a net worth of USD165 million and is married. The United States is the most popular location for second homes among the ultra wealthy, followed by the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
 
Four types of luxury home types have emerged as favourites among the global ultra wealthy: Green Homes, Smart Homes, Private Islands, and Serviced Apartments. These types of luxury residences serve their needs, aspirations, and lifestyle considerations.
 
The Caribbean and the Mediterranean remain favourites among UHNW buyers for private island homes, but Southeast Asia, Canada, Belize and the United Kingdom are gaining popularity. UHNW Multi-home buyers are fueling market growth in regions beyond global urban hubs such as London, New York City and Hong Kong. The report profiles Miami, Florida; Geneva, Switzerland; and Long Island, New York.
 
Wealth-X President, David Friedman (pictured), says: "Wealth-X is pleased to partner with the Sotheby's International Realty brand for this fourth joint report in 2015. This report underscores Wealth-X's commitment to conducting ground-breaking research on the world's ultra high net worth (UHNW) population. Expert commentary from Sotheby's International Realty complements Wealth-X's global intelligence on the world's UHNW population, producing a report that demonstrates a true collaboration between the world's leading UHNW intelligence provider and the global leader in luxury residential real estate."
 
"Our partnership with Wealth-X has proven to be invaluable as we continue to explore the motivations of the world's ultra high net worth," says Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates, LLC.  "The research from our latest report uncovers current trends in home purchasing behavior and chief lifestyle considerations, helping us gain insight into investment strategies of the UHNW population."

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