Millionaires in property love affair

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Australia’s millionaires are putting their money into real estate, according to new research.

A survey by Merrill Lynch and CapGemini revealed that the nation’s wealthiest people hold 40% of their portfolios in property – higher than any other country in the Asia Pacific region.

Property trumped equities, which made of 25% of total portfolios, and cash, which came in at 19%.

Peter Opie, senior vice president of investments at Merrill Lynch, indicated that the allure of property transcends wealth classes.

According to Opie, property investment will picked up speed in 2009.

"Australian high-net-worth individuals turned the risk switch off in 2009, with investors perceiving real estate to be less volatile than many other forms of investment," said Merrill Lynch Wealth Management's senior vice-president of investments, Peter Opie. "This is a trend that has continued through 2010."

In the next six to 12 months, Opie predicts the level of investment in equities will rise in Australia and around the world.

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