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UK may top list of rich households within decade

UK may top list of rich households within decade
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First Published: Mon, Mar 05 2007. 05 39 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Mar 05 2007. 05 39 PM IST
LONDON: Britain will have the highest concentration of high net worth households in the G7 within the next decade, a study predicts.
Business success and the property price boom will help to drive wealth in the UK ahead of its counterparts around the world by 2017, according to the Barclays Wealth “Insights” report.
It found that business success is now more likely than inheritance to be the number one route to riches.
Some 71 percent of respondents, representative of the top 5 percent of the population in wealth terms, listed savings from earnings as one of their three key sources of wealth.
That was followed by property with 44 percent and inherited wealth at 30 percent.
Mark Kibblewhite, managing director of private banking at Barclays Wealth, said: “There has rarely been a better time to be living in the UK.
“Not only are we expected to have the highest proportion of high net worth households in the G7 in 10 years’ time but wealth is now truly open to everyone, with enterprise and endeavour the main route to riches.”
However, the findings -- based on data from the Economist Intelligence Unit and Ledbury Research -- also showed that an exodus of the super-rich could be on the horizon.
While there had been a recent influx of high profile wealthy individuals to British shores -- including Roman Abramovich, one of Russia’s most powerful businessmen and the owner of Chelsea Football Club and Indian-born steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal -- 14 percent of rich Britons are considering moving abroad in the next decade.
Pursuit of a better lifestyle, cheaper property and living costs and improved business opportunities were cited as reasons for leaving.
The desire to pay less tax and fear of terrorism were other reasons given.
Kibblewhite said this “rising scepticism and wanderlust” among the country’s super-rich suggested that retaining wealth could “prove more of a challenge than creating it”.
Across the country, the largest concentration of Britain’s wealth is found in the southeast, according to the study.
The four postcodes home to the highest proportion of the rich are all in London and the southeast, with London and Hampshire the top ranked counties.
However, the north of England also features strongly with Yorkshire placed third and Lancashire sixth in the “wealth map”.
There is money north of the Border too: Midlothian and Dunbartonshire also feature in the top 20 postcodes of the super-rich.
Yolande Barnes, head of research at property consultant Savills, said the growing band of wealthy individuals was skewing the property market.
“The top end of the market for homes is becoming constricted with more and more wealthy individuals seeking new property, making it more difficult to find the perfect home in the UK,” she said.
“Rural and overseas purchases are increasingly common and we expect to see this trend continue.”
The study was based on an analysis of over 5,000 wealthy individuals, cross-checked against other sources including data from the Inland Revenue.
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First Published: Mon, Mar 05 2007. 05 39 PM IST
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