Cardiff has been named one of the top 10 most affluent cities in Britain in new figures that have laid bare a phenomenal rise in the number of UK millionaires.
The Welsh capital is ranked ahead of major English urban centres, including Manchester and Liverpool, in research by banking giant Barclays.
The ranking, in which Cardiff was named seventh, was based on a range of factors including numbers of millionaires, average annual pay, percentage of households giving to charity, business survival rates and exam scores.
The figures also show there are now 12, 000 millionaires living in Wales – 50% more than in 2010, making Wales the region which has seen the largest increase in the UK over the past five years.
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'People don't realise the affluence in Cardiff'
Lyn Evans, General Manager of Maserati in Cardiff, said: “I would agree 100% with the fact that Cardiff is one of the top 10 most affluent places in the UK. In the space of four months, since we took over the business, the amount of high value items we have sold has been phenomenal.
“Since April 1 this year we have had 17 orders for new cars and all our cars are between £49, 000 and £130, 000. We have had about five orders on cars above the £100, 000 bracket. That is a significant amount.
“In the past four months we have been matching, if not outperforming, sales at the Maidstone, Kent, dealer which is known as an affluent area. People don’t realise the affluence in Cardiff.”
Tony Filice, Director of Kelvin Francis estate agent and spokesperson for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Wales, said: “This doesn’t surprise me. We sell between three and eight properties a year over £1m. We have sold two already this year.
The figures also show there are now 12, 000 millionaires living in Wales
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“Buyers tend to be individuals returning to Cardiff having sold their company business, usually successful entrepreneurs or people who have sold in the south of England, for example someone who has sold a two-bedroom terraced house in London can have a mansion here for the same price. I would say about 60% of people who buy million pound properties come from outside the area.
“Areas where such properties tend to be are Cyncoed, Lisvane, Llandaff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Peterson Super Ely has the highest number of millionaires in any village in Wales. We have sold quite a number in that village.”
'People are coming to Wales for the quality of life'
Some of the particular factors for Cardiff’s strong performance in the prosperity ranking included a fall in unemployment across Wales, from 8.2% since 2012, and a total of 11, 320 new businesses established in 2013.
Cardiff remains a rapidly developing business hub with the financial and public service industries currently employing 50, 000 people, which is a 60% increase in the past decade.
Simon Powell, chairman and investor at Cardiff-based technology and ecommerce firm Eysys, said: “It’s a big jump. From 2008 company values have started to increase because trading started to get better. The economy has picked up and we are in a better place.
“People are coming to Wales for the quality of life. From 2010 property and company values and the economy has been getting better and that has led to more people being pushed into the millionaire bandings.
“Most people that obtain wealth of that nature work extremely hard to make that happen and bring prosperity to the economy by creating jobs. Creating a business isn’t easy and an awful lot of hard work goes into creating the underlying parts to allow wealth to be created.
“First you need a good idea, secondly you need a bit of luck but it’s all in the execution.”
On a national level there has been a 41% rise in the number of millionaires over the same period, with 715, 000 currently living in the UK, compared to 508, 000 in 2010 and almost half live outside London and the South East.