Super-rich home buyers with discerning taste have given Melbourne top honours in a ranking of cities with the best quality of life.
The very wealthy – deemed to be those with net assets worth $US30 million ($32 million) or more – have nominated Melbourne as a favourable place to live, ahead of Frankfurt, Sydney, Toronto and Geneva, according to a new report.
Melbourne has long been considered the world’s most liveable city and it seems whether you are rich or poor, residents value the same lifestyle perks, such as good weather and excellent education facilities.
However, for the supremely rich, political safety and the comparable affordability of Melbourne’s luxury housing market make it an appealing place to reside, the Knight Frank Wealth Report revealed.
The report, by Knight Frank’s London research team, forecasts Melbourne’s number of high net worth individuals will increase 19 per cent between 2013 and 2023.
The value of Melbourne’s prestige housing, in comparison with other luxury markets around the world, is one of the drawcards that lure the extremely wealthy to Melbourne, according to the agents.
A penthouse at One Hyde Park in London’s upmarket Knightsbridge recently sold for a heart-stopping $225 million. However in, Melbourne, an inner-city penthouse at the very highest end of the market will set you back barely a 10th of that price.
Currently, the most expensive apartment on the Melbourne market is the deluxe 82nd floor of Southbank’s Eureka Tower, which property industry insiders speculate could fetch up to $22 million.
Victorian managing director of Knight Frank, James Templeton, said proximity to major centres of capital growth in Asia and political stability, ensuring it is a safe haven for assets, makes Melbourne an attractive city for super-rich property investment.
Asia’s tally of uber-wealthy – especially in China, Singapore and Malaysia – is set to eclipse Europe’s in the next 10 years, according to the report, and Australia is on the doorstep of the pending boom.
“If you look at how the flows of capital have gone from Europe to Asia, we are obviously located much closer to Asia now and the Asian markets are a lot more familiar with Australia than they may have historically been,” Mr Templeton said. “Given where the centres of capital now sit and our proximity to that, it means we will see a lot more of those people here.”
Sotheby’s Melbourne director, Greg Herman, whose clients include those on the BRW Rich List, nominates Melbourne’s excellent education system, high level of personal safety, tolerant society and globally competitive prices in the prestige scale of the market among the drawcards that lure the very rich.
“Melbourne is a very rare city in which, if you are a multi-millionaire, you can walk down the street or shop at the supermarket without a security detail,” he said.
RT Edgar Toorak director, Michael Ebeling, who handles the sales of some of the suburb’s plushest, multimillion-dollar properties, said offshore buyers with the money to invest at the highest end of Melbourne's property market value the city's quality education system and stable government.
“In Melbourne we have a lot of prime investors because they are finding Melbourne economically and politically stable,” he said. “They feel comfortable investing their large sums of money in Melbourne.
“The Federal Reserve Bank guidelines mean it is very hard in Singapore, London and certain parts of America if you are a foreigner – you just cannot buy.”
The Wealth Report found 5000 people accumulated enough money in 2013 to be considered a high net worth individual, taking the number of those with $US30 million or more in net assets to more than 167,000.