Billionaire Holiday Home Hotspots of 2016

By Oliver Burns

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April 19, 2016|Architecture

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  • lmost 80% of ultra-high net worth individuals own on average a minimum of two homes, and most own at least three*. In fact, the typical billionaire owns four properties scattered across the globe**. These discerning clients are becoming increasingly impulsive and adventurous in the selection of the locations for their holiday homes. As a result, the luxury property market has expanded from the characteristic “hotspots” in the major cities to the more exotic and dreamy of locations that can be reached with private jets and super yachts.
Image via The Telegraph

Whilst homes in Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are a must for our clients, their holiday property interests are moving further afield. London’s bricks and mortar has been, and still is considered today, a reasonably low-risk investment due to London’s safe haven status. However, from a holiday perspective attention is being directed to places such as France, Italy and Malta.

Image via Galerie Platine

The world’s prime location to invest in a holiday property, year after year, has consecutively been the French Riviera. From Cannes to Monaco, the infinitely glamorous and romantic coastline has proven to be the most exclusive of areas. For centuries this “Hollywood sur mer” has been a beloved getaway spot attracting wealthy and often famous persons such as the great Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel, and is showing no signs of losing its status. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have an estate with a vineyard that is famous for its “Pink Floyd” wine, Johnny Depp has a villa from which he visits the local village and Elton John has a residence that sits atop a mountain overlooking Nice.

British and Russian millionaires are the most popular buyers on the Ligurian coast, which is dotted with lavender and lemon trees.

Image via Pinterest

The deep blue sea is the backdrop to the majority of the properties. The average ultra-prime home in this area is a renovated, modern villa and has over 6,000 sq. ft. including a swimming pool, a private gym and a wine cellar. Furthermore, government restrictions protecting the scenery and adjacent buildings mean that heritage is truly valued. In one of the most expensive locations on earth, investments are stable, unlike in other holiday destinations.

The lifestyle associated to the French Riviera is that of a relaxed, luxurious and comfortable existence. Our clients often search for this as in their day-to-day life they have little spare time and they require a place to go and relax. A place to call home where everything goes at escargot’s pace is difficult to resist.

Image via Dream of Italy

Another popular destination are the rolling hills of the Italian region, Tuscany. Multiple Renaissance-era villas and other architectural features are of interest. From this location residents can visit the Apennine Mountains for skiing or visit Elba’s beaches on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Properties in this area can come with private olive groves and vineyards. Indian, American and Russian billionaires’ favourite the Tuscan area for its beauty, ease of access and vast amounts of land.

Image via Inspirato

The ultra-wealthy get value for money buying in Tuscany as villas cost roughly a third of homes in London or on the Riviera; per sq. ft. one can expect to pay £1,116. An average super-prime property here can provide up to 74 hectares of land and 15,508 sq. ft. of house. Similar to villas on the French Riviera, homes in Tuscany also undergo substantial restoration in order to satisfy the needs of discerning buyers. Adding modern elements and technology to ensure security and comfort is a key priority.

The Police front man, Sting, has a renovated 16th century estate in Tuscany where he produces his own olive oil, wine and honey. The actress Debi Mazar has a remote villa that was gifted to her as a wedding gift from her Italian-born husband’s parents where they host an internet show called “Under the Tuscan Gun” that explores Tuscan cuisine.

Image via Panoramio

A new trending location is the archipelago Malta, hidden in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and North Africa. Recent EU succession regulations have provided an ideal setting for billionaires who are looking to purchase property because inheritance laws, physical and legal infrastructure, and the regulatory system are highly respected. Planning for the future is a leading reason for why today’s billionaires are choosing to invest their money into properties, and Malta is offering an idyllic setting. Stars like Tom Cruise, who has a villa in the San Gwann area that includes a private cinema and a sitting-room the size of a tennis court, also cannot resist the enchanting island.

Image via My Premium Europe

Malta currently has its highest number of ultra-high net worth individuals living there and is expecting the figure to grow nearly 80% by 2020***. For those who want to preserve and protect family wealth Malta is an attractive location. In addition, it offers a warm climate, numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a rich history. Luxury homes on the island range from classical to the more modern, all offering the best amenities possible. French, German and American individuals are the top buyers paying £480 per sq. ft. – substantially lower than competing countries. The value of property in Malta is predicted to increase due to its growing economy, favoured by vast foreign investment; it is likely to continue in the conceivable future.

Image via Lets go Maldives

Homes with a view and the accompanying amenities will always be on the ultra-high net worth individual’s radar. Many of the private homes resemble five star hotels and now act as a signature statement in their collection of homes. It is an opportunity to create a legacy that combined with key selling features such as stunning interior design is irresistible. A luxury property can be enjoyed for generations and is a distinctive asset, particularly if the location is thoughtfully considered. Places with low levels of crime, high security and elevated privacy are increasingly important to super-prime buyers.

For our globally mobile clients who travel regularly for work, a jet setting lifestyle is de rigeur. A holiday home in a sun-drenched location offers a taste of the la dolce vita and a haven from hectic city living.  For the cash rich but time poor, this is truly the ultimate luxury.


Composed by MZ


Strutt and Parker

** Knight Frank

*** World Tax


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