Saturday, July 07, 2012

Migratory Patterns of the Rich

FT is always interesting, equal parts data-driven economist and cultural anthropologist. Every once in a while the issue of homes of the one percent comes up in the media narrative. One instance was when reporters asked John McCain in 2008 how amny homes he and Cindy owned, and McCain's obliqueness made the news. Also-- Michael Bloomberg was in a Bermuda home while New York City was buried under a blizzard a few years ago.

FT delves into the migratory patterns of the rich:
"Nevertheless, it is an aphorism that the growing legion of super-rich seems to have taken to heart. For the 63,000-strong elite who, according to Knight Frank’s 2012 Wealth Report, have assets of $100m or more, the desire for cultural, climatic and geographic diversity is manifested in multiple homes worldwide.

"From Brazil, through the drift of emerging wealth, to China, a typical super-rich individual’s portfolio will consist of four or five properties. For lifestyle nomads, this will include established super-prime homes in London, southern Europe, the Alps, the US, and the Caribbean, with their migratory patterns driven by seasonal pursuits and filtered, here and there, by clannish bias.

With skiing, or après-ski, in mind, the new wealthy Brazilians join Americans on the slopes of Vail and Aspen, while Christmas sees the British and Europeans head for their chalets in the Alps, where old money has long graced the sophistication of Gstaad and Megève. Russians, on the other hand, currently among the most active players in the European super-prime market, have over the past 10 years been purchasing large slices of Courchevel 1850. 'Super-prime destinations attract buyers from all around the world,' says David Forbes, head of Savills Private Office, which deals with the global requirements of the rich. 'But Russians tend to go specifically where there are other Russians, often following in the wake of an oligarch.'
"On this basis, if the Caribbean is the sunseekers’ refuge of choice for the months of November till March, Russians will congregate on St Barts – long popular among the French but more recently brought to prominence by the lavish parties of Roman Abramovich, who purchased a 70-acre estate on the island in 2009 for a reported £59m. Mustique, with its royal connections, the Bahamas and Barbados are also among the powder-sand perennials, with Barbados (where current off-market listings reach $50m) boasting the highest proportion of billionaires."
Many more fascinating insights here.

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