Category Archives: the rich

Sunday Times: Super rich lash out on open land

Super rich lash out on open land

Aug 1, 2010 12:00 AM | By Simpiwe Piliso
South Africa’s super rich spurned private jets, yachts and luxury cars last year, and instead splurged on farms and undeveloped land to boost their investment portfolios.

The 14th annual 2010 World Wealth Report, released last month, said SA’s dollar millionaires, worth more than R7.6-million in cash and investments, invested heavily in real estate last year.

The report, compiled by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, said more than half of Africa’s dollar millionaires, with a combined fortune of about $390-billion, live in SA.

Individuals with high net worth across the globe invested in property, including game farms, luxury homes and undeveloped land.

Business Times recently reported that South Africa’s millionaire executives are taking up farming, with cattle ranches and game farms the latest items on their shopping lists.

These businessmen fork out as much as R20000 for a prize Nguni bull at a weekend livestock auction.

Estate agents this week confirmed that their books showed a big rise in the number of wealthy black farm owners.

Prices of these properties range from a R1.5-million to R100-million.

According to Africa Game Farm Estates, recovering land prices have made farms attractive to investors.

Some buyers regard their properties as a status symbol to “show off” their newfound wealth.

The super rich, according to the 2010 World Wealth Report which monitored super-rich individuals in 71 countries, opted to splash out less on yachts, jets and luxury cars.

“This luxury market was hit very hard by the financial crisis. Global yacht sales tumbled 45% and 80% of yacht manufacturers were forced to suspend or shut down their operations.

“The jet business similarly was one of the hardest hit by the crisis.”

Last month Business Times reported that independent global property consultancy Knight Frank’s 2010 Wealth Report found that more than 96000 South Africans have “investible assets” – which include their private artworks, but exclude primary residential homes – worth more than $1-million.

The researchers excluded primary residences in their calculations, but included wine estates, game farms and properties, which the dollar millionaires use to generate income and long-term investments.

The report – which monitored super-rich individuals in 43 countries – also shows that South Africa boasts among Africa’s largest population of super wealthy individuals, defined as those whose personal financial wealth ranges between $1-million and $10-million.

However, the 2010 World Wealth Report, released this week, excluded statistics of the number of dollar millionaires there were in South Africa.

This is despite the comprehensive report, which was first published 14 years ago, having calculated the number of dollar millionaires in the past.

Last year the report showed that more than 4 345 South African dollar millionaires were dropped from the elite list of the country’s super-rich.

The recession saw the number plummet from 55 047 to 50 699 in just a year.