HNWIs increase to over half a million in the UK

Private jetThe number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the UK has surpassed half a million, following a sharp rise over the past year.

This growth has been supported by property price rises and a steadily improving economy, according to the findings of financial services research and strategy consultancy, CoreData Research.

This means there are now approximately 501,866 HNW households in the UK, representing around 2% of the nation's total households.

CoreData Research's UK HNW Report 2015 also finds that the sharp rise in HNWIs can be attributed in part to the strong performance of equity markets throughout 2014, which, until the correction in September, saw several indices hitting record highs.

However, the increase in affluent households has also meant a growth in income inequality, as indicated by recent findings from the charity Oxfam that the world's richest 1% of people will exceed 50% of global wealth ownership by 2016.

Craig Phillips, head of international, CoreData Research, says that there is "no doubt" the equity rally in the first three quarters of 2014 helped lift the number of HNW investors in the UK.

"However the immediate future is unlikely to be as rosy – interest rate hikes on the horizon, the end of quantitative easing and additional regulation suggests markets will be less supportive in 2015," he adds.

In order to gauge the investment and behavioural attitudes of HNWIs (individuals who possess more than $1 million (€ 863,834) in net financial assets) Coredata created a index to provide financial advisers and asset managers with a way of understanding the current concerns and practices of HNW investors.

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