Wealth Management

Luxury brands boom in Asia as region’s rich splurge on cars, wine and watches

SmartCompany /

If it’s not property, the world’s wealthy investors look for assets that satisfy both head and heart, the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2013 has noted.

Across Asia, a net balance of 19% of high-net-worth individuals spent more last year on luxury goods than in 2011.

James Lawson, head of industry analyst Ledbury Research, says this was reflected in the number of new luxury store and boutique openings around the world.

The firm’s research shows that Asia-Pacific’s share of the world’s leading luxury brand outlets increased from 39% in 2009 to 44% in 2012, while North America’s fell from 30% to 24%.

Europe’s quota remained relatively stable, but this was “not due to European consumers, but to tourists and their passion for shopping in the luxury capitals of Milan, Paris, and London,” says Mr Lawson.

Australia’s luxury market has also benefited from the trend, with an increase in spending by tourists from China and other regional hotspots like Indonesia and Malaysia, according to Melinda O’Rourke, managing director of Sydney-based luxury consultancy MO Luxury.

However, Ms O’Rourke says Australians still account for 65% of luxury purchases and relying too heavily on overseas wallets is a risky strategy.

“The industry here learned a hard lesson after the Japanese economy stagnated.”

When asked to select the most collected passion investments, respondents in all regions of the world chose fine art.

The next most-collected asset overall was watches, with the average Chinese super-rich male owning six luxury timepieces, according to Hurun Report.

Wine was the third most popular passion investment, scoring highly in all areas bar the Middle East.

Jewellery and classic cars complete our global top five.

This article first appeared on Property Observer.

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