Dubai: Millionaires around the world are constantly on the move, hopping from one spot to the next, but there’s one city that is fast losing its super-wealthy residents recently.
According to the latest figures compiled by New World Wealth, the migration specialist for the super rich, more millionaires than ever are fleeing the city of London to move to other hotspots like Australia, United States and the UAE.
In 2017 alone, approximately 5,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), those with assets and properties worth at least $1 million, left the city.
Some of these wealthy individuals have moved to other cities, including those in the US, Australia, Switzerland and Portugal. “Definitely some are going to the UAE. However, most are going to the US and Australia,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth.
Thousands of rich people migrate to other places each year, as they shift their base for their business or acquire a new primary residence— which could be a beach home, mountain lodge or penthouse in the metropolis.
Over the past 30 years, the UK has been one of the biggest havens of the wealthy, attracting investments and migrants from all over the world, including the Gulf.
“We estimated that over 85,000 HNWIs have moved to the UK since 1990,” the company said.
However, the trend is changing, with last year alone recording the highest number of millionaires moving out of the country.
“London was obviously a hotspot for migrating HNWIs for many years. However, this trend appears to have changed over the past couple years as migrating HNWIs now prefer moving to other international cities,” New World Wealth said.
“International cities refer to first world cities which attract business people from all over the world.”
Many wealthy Londoners have also moved out of the city to nearby small affluent commuter towns such as Bray, Taplow and Marlow, although a large number have left the UK altogether.
While the UK is losing wealthy residents in huge numbers, the UAE is increasingly becoming more attractive to rich migrants.
In 2017, an estimated 5,000 individuals holding assets worth at least $1 million migrated to the UAE. The UAE recorded the highest number of migrant millionaires, beating other wealthy havens like the Caribbean, Switzerland or Singapore.
As more wealthy individuals opt to establish residence in the UAE, the total private fortunes in the country have also expanded by 10 per cent to $925 billion last year and by a whopping 60 per cent over the past ten years, between 2007 and 2017.
Ten countries that attracted the most millionaires in 2017 (HNWI net inflows)
United States: 9,000
New Zealand: 1,000
Source: New World Wealth
Why are millionaires fleeing UK or London?
Wealthy residents are apparently turned off by the rising crime levels and religious tensions in the country, particularly in London. “Crime deters HNWIs from staying in a country,” New World Wealth said.
The new taxes imposed on non-doms and foreigners with homes in the UK is another negative factor. The new taxes are making it more expensive and complicated for migrating HNWIs to buy homes in the UK.
The UK’s traditionally high inheritance taxes are also making other destinations like Australia and the US more appealing to the migrating super rich (post Brexit).