Bricks and mortar remain top priority for millionaires with half of the UK’s wealthiest owning more than one home

Being a millionaire is a tough business to be in. Deciding where to invest that cash, be it hard earned or inherited, can be challenging. Do you go for an Aston Martin Vanquish, a Bombardier Global private jet, a multi-million pound mansion or just put it all in the bank? Maybe not these days!

For most millionaires, owning bricks and mortar remains a top priority with 49.9% of the UK’s wealthiest people owning more than one property in the UK according to Skandia’s ‘Millionaire Monitor’ report 2012. Furthermore millionaires under the age of 50 are significantly more likely to invest in multiple properties with over 60% of the rich under the age of 50 owning more than one property compared to 42% if they are over the age of 50.

They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, but is this strictly true? Female millionaires it appears are in fact more likely that their male counterparts to own more than one property with 20% choosing to own overseas versus 16% of men.

But why exactly is owning property so appealing to millionaires?

Personal use is the driving force for second homes, perhaps a country pad, a pied-a-terre or a place by the sea to retreat to for long weekends. Having a home away from home to relax and recharge the batteries before heading back to the daily grind is clearly high on the wish list.

With second homes in mind, the Skandia report interestingly also revealed that in July 2011 the volume of UK high net worth individuals planning on leaving the UK was 7.7% compared to only 3.6% this year. Good news for the high end domestic property market.

Further boosting this sector is the ever increasing number of high net worth foreign nationals relocating to the UK, especially the South East, keen to experience a far greater degree of safety and security for their family than other parts of the globe.

Barton Wyatt, multi award-winning high end estate agency located in the heart of in Surrey examined their prospective home buyers this year compared previous years discovering that 75% of their clients are from overseas rising from 65% last year. This figure appeared to reflect the same values for both the sales and the rental market and this increase in overseas clients poses some interesting challenges to the team at Barton Wyatt.

Reflecting on the findings, James Wyatt, owner of Barton Wyatt, comments:

“When I first started working in this area 25 years ago I would have suggested the population of foreigners living in Virginia Water was 5%. This figure has markedly increased to around 20% with droves of overseas nationals attracted here by the wonderful standard of living that the Wentworth Estate offers and often for the high standard of private education available on our doorstep.

“Our foreign clients also look to this area due to the value for money they achieve as opposed to living in central London. The sporting venues in the locality are another driver – golf, Ascot and Guards polo – and of course the area has become well known for attracting families from overseas which in turn creates more interest.”

So if you are the lucky owner of a few million pounds, why not consider splashing your cash on these stunning Surrey properties:


Mariners, Virginia Water £3,995,000

A newly built mansion house in a handsome Georgian style with a contemporary internal finish. An elegant sweeping staircase leads the eye up to the first floor and impressive galleried landing. The dining area is open plan to the entrance hall and creates a tremendous feeling of space around the core of the house with views from the front door all the way through to the rear garden. The more formal drawing room and study are double aspect rooms and the tremendous kitchen/breakfast/family room is designed for contemporary family lifestyle.

The first floor has four bedroom suites with en-suite bath/shower rooms, the master having a dressing room and sitting room, opening on to a balcony overlooking the rear gardens. On the second floor is a further bedroom and bathroom suite and an adaptable room, ideal for a cinema or gym etc.

Over the three-bay garage is a studio apartment with a small kitchenette and shower, ideal for staff or an au-pair.

Eastry House

Eastry House, Wentworth, Surrey £4,750,000

Five bedrooms (four with en-suite dressing and bathrooms) principal bedroom with balcony and fireplace, reception hall, cloakroom, five reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room with granite worktops, conservatory, utility, gas central heating and double glazing, detached double garage, swimming pool, tennis court, long private drive, 4.4 acres.

This magnificent house is approached via its own long sweeping driveway. It has been extended over the years to form a splendid large home with en-suite facilities to all bedrooms on the first floor. The ground floor is ideal for a growing family with four good size reception rooms which all enjoy beautiful views onto the parkland style gardens that surround the house.

Eastry House forms a comfortable home that also has enormous potential to further improve or remodel subject to any planning consents. The property is located on the main island which is a much favoured location as one can walk to the golf course along the private roads that surround Wentworth.