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The global luxury real estate market on top form

In the press


The ultra rich are increasing in number and building up ever-more international assets.


Hong Kong, New York and Los Angeles are the most popular destinations. Brussels, however, is not yet on the radar. The latest luxury real estate survey, published by BARNES, reveals the market trends.

We all know the saying: money attracts money. In the small world of the wealthy, the upward curve has not dipped over the years. Most wealthy individuals are ever-wealthier, and ever-increasing in number, with more and more properties to their name. An observation demonstrated by the latest luxury real estate survey published by BARNES, the international firm specialised in high-end residential real estate. It analysed the behaviour of High- Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI), men and women with between €1 and €30 million to their name, and Ultra High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWI), those with a net worth of over €30 million.

A population that has its own habits, needs, and whose desires vary with each continent. Wealthy individuals who are a joy for real estate agents specialised in this segment, given the dizzying number of transactions.

The profile of the buyers of these high-end properties is relatively clear: two thirds of them are entrepreneurs. The remainders are heirs who have achieved maximum value on their capital by dipping their toes in entrepreneurship.  Each year they place increasing emphasis on luxury real estate in the management of their assets, BARNES explains. In addition to long-term capital gains, establishing their primary residence in one of the most internationally recognised cities enables them to remain in daily contact with other entrepreneurs working within the same sector.

BARNES International - Propriétés de prestige à la vente à l international


Well-reasoned investments

The background of these entrepreneurs is relatively classic. They increasingly often move to international cities with their families, allowing them to combine the development of their company with a balanced family life. The choice of leading international city is determined based on three criteria: practical (top schools and universities, mobility, ecological footprint), emotional (cultural wealth, luxury boutiques, etc.) and financial (environmental, economical, tax, profitability and potential added-value).  After stabilising, they will build up a portfolio of prestigious secondary residences, most of which will be used as seasonal rentals, the study explains. These properties are then managed like hotel facilities. 

 Most clients are wealthy families or entrepreneurs, with an extremely busy schedule, explains Thibault de Saint Vincent, President of BARNES. They generally own several properties worldwide and therefore require global support. In addition to consultancy, which enables them to make purchases internationally, clients seek access to a broad range of complementary services in the real estate field such as concierge services, art consultancy, the creation of private cellars, interior design, the acquisition of hunting estates, wine-growing properties and yacht rental

Top cities

If we look at the latest version of the BARNES City Index, we can see a number of changes in the ranking of the world’s top cities. Hong Kong is now on the list, New YorkLos AngelesToronto and Paris. The sudden fall of London (6th place) should also be noticed, due to the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.  The market is benefiting from the Brexit effect, with numerous transactions in the west of Paris completed by French expatriates looking to return to France, according to the BARNES analysis. The 16th arrondissement, neglected in recent years, is once again attracting families thanks to its advantageous quality/price ratio.

Brussels: the destination to watch

So where does Brussels fit in all this? It is only ranked in the destinations to watch. 17th out of 20, stuck between Marrakesh and Lugano. BARNES is placing particular emphasis on its status as a European capital and the strong presence of international bodies. It has notably revealed, to no surprise, that 85% of the luxury rental market is located in Uccle, Ixelles, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Bruxelles-Ville, Tervueren and Rhode-Saint-Genèse. The properties most in demand are renovated and new housing with spacious rooms, a master suite and walk-in wardrobe as well as underground parking for properties in the city centre.  The luxury market in Belgium is currently in full swing, says Nicolas Frings, CEO of BARNES Belgium. The Belgian stereotype is their discretion. They rarely acquire a property over €5 million because they do not want to be marginalised by their entourage. There is a certain modesty in their manner

© Tendance Trends - published on Barnes International Realty on 18/10/2019

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