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Why Millionaires Are Heading Down Under

Safety, climate and good health care have the world’s rich flocking to Australia.

By Jeff Vasishta March 6, 2017
Credit: Hai Linh Truong

With political turmoil rife in the US, Europe and the Middle East, worried millionaires have been in search of a bolt hole to get away from it all while still having the comfort and security of living in an advanced society. Now it seems they have found the perfect place — Australia.

CNN revealed that an estimated 11,000 millionaires moved to Australia in 2016, according to a new report by wealth research firm New World Wealth, up by 3000 from the previous year. One of the big draws apart from the relative stability of the vast continent is the climate, which coupled with a health care system, widely thought to be among the best in the world, is a reason that many people find Down Under attractive.

Related: Foreign Investment In Australia Is Shunned To Keep Prices Affordable

The US and UK have traditionally appealed to the affluent and that isn’t likely to change, regardless of politics, increasingly, Australia has been attractive to its regional Asian neighbors. The new affluent middle and upper classes in India and China who can experience the  benefits of living in a developed country within a relatively easy commuting distance to their native nations, is a big plus for businesses looking within the Asian market.

Experts, however differ with those who think that the new US president could be a big factor is steering the wealthy towards Australia. The despite a political upheaval, the US still managed to attract 10,000 millionaires last year.

“We don’t think the new leadership in the U.S. will have a big impact. We expect another big net inflow of high-net worth individuals into the U.S. in 2017,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth.

Related: Is Australia’s Real Estate Boom Heading Towards Doom?

As has been often documented, wealthy Chinese investors and immigrants are have been drawn recently to Vancouver. That’s reflected in the surge of 8,000 new millionaires who have decided to call Canada home recently. Europeans have also been drawn the country but to the more racially and culturally diverse Toronto. The net result has been a dramatic increase in house prices. The same has also happened in parts of Australia, which has fueled a surge in rental demand.

“People tend to talk about their own children not affording homes, but the problem is more immediate than that,” REA chief economist Nerida Conisbee said of the Sydney housing market. “We’re going to lose teachers who are teaching these children, nurses who are looking after people, police, firefighters.”

Indeed, the average price of a family house in Sydney has passed the million dollar mark for the first time. Everythingoverseas.com says that strong migration is driving prices up in Australia’s biggest city, as well as in Melbourne, where prices also rose 10 percent last year. Figures provided by property portal, Domain (www.domain.com.au), show that the average house price across the country is up 7.7% at A$780,000 ($592,265 US).

It’s a phenomenon which has also made neighboring Aukland New Zealand unaffordable recently. Perhaps the wealthy may soon be forced to come to the same conclusion that the rest of the population have arrived at. Sometimes it’s just cheaper to stay where you are.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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