UK Treasure map
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When we take a closer look at treasure assets held in each of the UK regions, important variations become apparent. These can mostly be attributed to differences in tradition, heritage and trends, as well as overall levels of wealth in the region. However, one finding that stands out is the universality of the motivations for holding treasure: treasure assets in the UK, regardless of which region the owner resides in, are held mainly for enjoyment. Cultural reasons and passing treasure onto the next generation are also unanimously ranked highly, showing that respondents across the country have a deep-rooted attachment to the treasure they own, which transcends financial value.
London – Treasure rich and keen to acquire more
Perhaps unsurprisingly, individuals in London hold the highest proportion of treasure assets by a significant amount, with Londoners owning on average 9.3% of their total wealth in treasure.
In line with global trends, and similar to those in the South West, North West and Midlands, the three most popular types of treasure for Londoners to collect are precious jewellery, fine art paintings and antique furniture. More than half of individuals (56%) say that they have held fine art pictures and paintings in the past five years; and 32% say that they have owned fine art tapestry and rugs, which is the highest of any region.
Looking to the future, more respondents in London want to invest in classic automobiles (21%), precious metals (22%) and fine art tapestry and rugs (33%) than anywhere else in the country, suggesting a desire to diversify their treasure collections. Furthermore, indicating that treasure ownership is financially motivated in part, nearly a quarter (23%) of fine art sculptures owned by Londoners are held primarily for financial reasons, which is 4% above the national average.
Treasure assets in London are the most likely to be held for social reasons. Nearly a third (31%) of treasure assets in the capital are held so that they can be shared with friends, which is markedly above the national average of 23%.
South East – Social treasure seekers who favour wine and classic automobiles
The South East is a region of ‘social treasure collectors’. On average, respondents in this region hold 7.2% of their total wealth in treasure, the second highest value in the UK. They are motivated by sharing their treasure with friends and nearly a quarter (23%) of treasure assets are held for this purpose. Interestingly, 61% of those in the South East say they would loan some of their possessions to a museum or exhibition if asked.
Additionally, nearly one third (32%) of treasure assets in the South East are held in order to be bequeathed to children or grandchildren as heirlooms.
Although precious jewellery, fine art pictures and paintings and wine collections are the most popular treasure types in the South East, the region is also home to the third highest number of classic automobile owners in the UK. Indeed, respondents in the South East think highly of their automobile collections, requiring a 74% price increase in the first year after purchase in order to consider selling this treasure, compared to a 51% price rise for those in London, and a 34% price rise for people in Scotland.
Looking to the next five years, individuals in the South East say that they intend to hold onto their wine collection with more one third of treasure holders (36%) agreeing to this statement, which is the equal highest of any region, along with the North East. Furthermore, 18% of treasure holders say that they plan to maintain their classic car collection for the next five years.
North East and Yorkshire – Discreet treasure hoarders investing in wine and stamp collections
Although respondents in the North East and Yorkshire have a lower propensity to hold treasure than in many other parts of the UK, with individuals holding on average 4.4% of their total wealth in treasure, the North East and Yorkshire are revealed as a region of wine connoisseurs. Over one third (36%) of wealthy individuals in the area have held treasure in wine collections in the past five years, which is the highest proportion in the UK. Furthermore, this region ranks at the top of the table with more than one third (36%) agreeing that they will hold their wine collection for the next five years. This is well above the average of 31%.
The research found that the North East and Yorkshire are also home to the highest proportion of stamp collectors, as one in three (33%) have held a valuable stamp collection for the past five years. However, treasure assets in the North East and Yorkshire are the second least likely (14%) to be held in order to be ‘shown off’; this is in contrast to London, where a quarter of treasure is held to be ‘shown off’. Similarly, just 15% of respondents in the North East and Yorkshire believe they have a duty to share their valuable possessions for the good of society – for instance, by displaying them to the public – which is half of the national average who agrees with this statement (30%). Despite this, if asked to display their treasures in a museum or gallery exhibition, 65% of those in the North East and Yorkshire say they would.
Midlands – Avid treasure collectors with a passion for classic automobiles and fine art pictures and paintings
High net worth individuals in the Midlands hold on average 6.9% of their total wealth in treasure, this is equal third with the North West region, behind London and the South East. Over one tenth (12%) of the treasure assets held by respondents in this region is done so for financial reasons. A further 69% of it is held because individuals in the Midlands feel it is hard to find things that will remain secure in terms of financial value. This figure is slightly above the national average of 60% who agree with this statement.
In terms of the types of treasure owned, those in the Midlands currently hold the largest appetite for classic automobiles, with more respondents in this region investing in classic automobiles than anywhere else in the UK. Just over one in five respondents (21%) in the region currently own at least one classic automobile, compared to just 7% in the North West. They have also invested in antique furniture (49%) and fine art pictures and paintings (51%).
Looking ahead to the future, individuals in the Midlands have the strongest appetite to invest in fine art sculptures, with 28% of respondents agreeing that they would like to acquire sculptures in the future.
North West – High values but low enjoyment
Individuals in the North West hold on average 6.9% of their total wealth in treasure. This is the third highest of any of the regions and follows London and the South East.
The North West has the fewest treasure assets held for enjoyment reasons in the UK. Just over half (53%) of treasure in this region is held for enjoyment, which is noticeably below the national average of 69%. Instead, financial reasons feature more prominently, with 13.4% of treasure assets in the North West held for investment purposes, compared to the national average of 9%. Despite this, 38% of treasure in the region is held for cultural reasons, while nearly one third (31%) of treasure is owned in order to bequeath to children or grandchildren as heirlooms.
Interestingly, the North West is the capital of coin collecting. Currently, one in five (21%) respondents in the North West have coin collections, which is the highest in the UK. This trend also appears set to continue, with nearly a quarter of individuals aspiring to hold coin collections in the next five years. At the other end of the scale, just 5% of respondents in the neighbouring North East region aim to hold coin collections in the future.
South West & Wales – Cultural treasure collectors attached to their possessions
On average, high net worth individuals in the South West and Wales hold around 4% of their total wealth in treasure, the lowest compared to the other regions of the nation, with cultural reasons cited as the biggest motivation for holding treasure. 40% of treasure in this region is owned because it is part of the owner’s heritage and culture, which is the highest proportion in the UK. In line with this, 35% of treasure assets are held so that they may be bequeathed as heirlooms. This is the highest of all of the regions of the UK.
Furthermore, individuals in the South West and Wales require some of the steepest hikes in value to consider selling their treasure. For precious jewellery, respondents in this region would require a significant 73% increase in value in the first year after purchase to entertain the idea of selling it, whilst only a 100% increase in precious metals would prompt a sale. By way of comparison, individuals in the North West would sell their precious metals if they saw an increase of just over a third (38%) in value.
Scotland – Lower values but highest enjoyment
Individuals in Scotland hold the third lowest percentage of their total net worth in treasure assets in the UK, with an average of just 5%. However, more treasure items in Scotland are held for enjoyment reasons than any other region in the UK. Whilst on average just over two thirds (69%) of treasure in the UK is held for enjoyment, 76% of treasure assets are held by individuals in Scotland for this reason.
Little of the treasure in Scotland is held for social reasons, with just 17% of treasure assets held for sharing with friends in this region, a figure which rises to 31% in London. Only 8% of Scottish individual’s treasure assets are held for financial reasons, which is the lowest of any region in the UK.
Scotland is one of three regions in the UK to list wine collections as one of its most popular treasure types. In line with the North East and South East, wine collections rank highly for individuals in Scotland, along with the more common precious jewellery and fine art painting treasure types. Indeed, Scotland is just behind London for the number of high net worth individuals who own fine art. Just under two thirds (62%) of Scottish respondents currently own fine art pictures and paintings, compared to 63% in London.