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Study: Rich Americans Ready to Spend Like It's 2007

A survey of the wealthiest homeowners in the country reveals a renewed interest in "large purchases."

Survey says: Affluent Americans set to spend like it's 2008. Credit:

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Looks like the Joneses are jonesin' for a new kitchen... or maybe a bathroom.

A new survey from the American Affluence Research Center found that the number of affluent Americans planning to make large purchases this year—including major home renovations—has finally returned to pre-recession levels. The survey polled more than 300 households with a minimum net worth of $800,000.

Prior to 2008, respondents who had no plans to make a large purchase held steady at around 45%. Since then, even the wealthiest Americans have tightened their belts, and that number rose to between 50% and 60%.

Now, penny-pinchers are back to a 45% minority, meaning more than half of all the affluent respondents—who represent the wealthiest 10% of American households—do plan to either remodel, upgrade to a new home, purchase an second (or third?) home, buy a new car, go on a cruise, or make another large purchase.

Fancy kitchen

Fancy... [Credit: Flickr user "kitchendesigner"]

The American Affluence Research Center's detailed study is available for purchase on the organization's website for $500, or $700 with the full suite of relevant charts. Respondents reported an average annual income of $268,000, average net worth of $3.1 million, and an average primary residence value of $1.1 million.

This writer, on the other hand, is reporting a feeling of inadequacy.

Hero image: Flickr user "Photo Dean" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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