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Heftier Price Tag On Switzerland Luxury Living - Stonehage

Natasha Taghavi Reporter London 19 November 2013

Heftier Price Tag On Switzerland Luxury Living - Stonehage

From caviar and champagne to high end cars, luxury living in Switzerland has become increasingly expensive, according to the Stonehage Group, a European multi-family office for ultra high net worth families and entrepreneurs.

From caviar and champagne to high end cars, luxury living in Switzerland has become increasingly expensive, according to the Stonehage Group, a European multi-family office for ultra high net worth families and entrepreneurs.

The sixth Swiss Stonehage Affluent Luxury Living Index (SALLI) – which measures price inflation on a range of luxury items from caviar to cars – increased by 1.1 per cent in the past 12 months, compared to 0.8 per cent in 2012 and 1.2 per cent in 2011. This compares to an average inflation rate of -0.1 per cent, measured by the Swiss Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the same period, the firm said.

Stonehage said that the cost of TGV tickets between Geneva and Paris, apartment rental in Zurich and caviar all fell by approximately 9 per cent over the past year. However, the index revealed increases in the price of luxury shopping items such as watches and handbags, high end cars and champagne, which contributed to pushing up the overall cost of living for the ultra-wealthy.

“This year’s findings show that it is still more expensive to be wealthy in Switzerland, partly due to a 2.4 per cent fall in the value of the Swiss Franc against the Euro, and we may see consumers looking abroad in the coming year to get the best deals on luxury items,” said Mark McMullen, executive director and head of Stonehage’s international family office division, based in Geneva.

The “consumables” category of the index increased by 8 per cent, driven by large increases in the cost of champagne (24.2 per cent) and restaurant dining (average 24 per cent).

Meanwhile, in the “travel” category, a fall in TGV travel was offset by increases in the cost of hotel stays in Paris and New York, as global hotel prices continue their slow rise towards pre-financial crisis levels. The price of a week in Verbier also increased due to increased demand from wealthy holiday makers, particularly from emerging markets, for whom Switzerland has become an increasingly popular holiday destination.

The “investments of passion” category increased by 2.2 per cent, as luxury items such as designer handbags, watches and clothes all went up in price, fuelled predominantly by a hike in demand for luxury brands in China and the Middle-East.

A 0.6 per cent decrease in the “housing and family” category was caused by a fall in the cost of rental property in Zurich, which, the firm said, was caused by a surge in property development in previous years, meaning that supply exceeded demand.

The “culture and entertainment” category increased by 3.1 per cent. The firm said that this was primarily due to an increase in the cost of leisure activities such as skiing, water sports and fitness memberships.

The Stonehage Affluent Luxury Living Index (SALLI) Switzerland, is a proxy for price inflation experienced by Swiss-based UHNW families. It measures a basket of luxury goods and services regularly purchased by UHNW clients. The basket consists of approximately 50 goods and services on a “per use” weighted average basis. This includes items such as annual tuition and boarding fees for two children, Zurich and Geneva rental costs for a family property, a family ski holiday to St Moritz, fine wine and cigars.

 

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