In Wealth-X’s new Global Luxury Outlook report, the wealth data platform and analysis specialist highlights a number of trends that, while not directly referencing the superyacht market, validate a number of the assumptions that the industry has made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, the research clearly outlines an UHNW movement towards family, freedom and privacy, all of which are central pillars of the superyacht experience and rarified commodities in today’s global environment.

“The wealthy’s mindset around what luxury is has changed – their priorities have shifted towards their families. Luxury now includes a second passport, access to healthcare and the freedom to go when and where they feel safe and secure,” explains Jaclyn Sienna India, CEO of Sienna Charles.

That the wealthy have shifted towards family, health and freedom of movement should come as absolutely no surprise at all given that it is only a microcosm of the shift in priorities that many of us have felt throughout this unprecedented period. All wealth classes are searching for ways that they can eek out as much joy as possible in an ostensibly miserable period of time. The wealthy, however, are blessed with far greater options in terms of their modes of travel, private health care and asset classes available. Superyachts, fortunately, are sanitary environments, private and offer greater freedom of movement and variety than any other luxury asset class, as well as providing the opportunity to have additional medical assistance retained on board.

“Quite a few wealthy people are looking for exclusive safe havens in the form of second homes – safety has become a priority for them. But with this purchase, they expect access to established locations often via residency and additional passports as well as access to medical help,” comments Alistair Brown, CEO, Alistair Brown Real Estate.

Superyachts are often described as being second homes, or even floating palaces, however, given the financial uncertainty that has come hand in hand with the pandemic, it seems unlikely that more UHNWIs will be looking to commission new build vessels given the amounts of expected depreciation and the time it takes to build them. However, it may be that this desire for privacy, freedom and medical care could lead some UHNWIs towards the charter or brokerage markets. That being said, the market should still predict a net decrease in the number of clients willing to engage with the yachting market.

“Private luxury is here to stay. The wealthy’s home residence has become more important than ever. During the pandemic, such individuals have become accustomed to high levels of luxury service at home. Many have also sought out a second home for reasons of safety and security, as well as privacy,” reads the report.

If the movement towards private luxury is indeed here to stay, then it may yield a long-term benefit for the superyacht market. It would be silly to assume that in the short-term these trends will be of great benefit to the yachting market, but the trends that have been highlighted within the Global Luxury Outlook report are certainly reminiscent of the benefits that superyachts provide.


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