According to Knight Frank’s 2019 Wealth Report, London has taken the crown back from New York in an annual ranking of the world’s top cities for ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI).
The report examined the global urban powerhouses that matter most to individuals with net assets of more than $1m. London had the most wealthy populations, focusing on wealth, investment and lifestyle. The only category where New York trumped London, was in the investment category.
- Super rich or ultra high net worth individuals (UHWIs) who have assets of more than $30m is greater than any other city, followed by New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Los Angeles.
- The top five European cities after London were: Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Munich and Amsterdam.
- The global population of ultra-high-net-worth individuals will grow by more than a fifth over the next five years.
- London has the largest population of UHNWIs with 4,944, an increase of 582 over the last five years.
- For HNWIs, Tokyo reigns with 488,582.
- New York has the highest concentration of billionaires, with 94.
- Growth in Asia is noticeable, with Asian cities holding three of the top five spots in the wealth category (Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore).
- London is dominant for diversity of investors.
- North American cities reign for private investment, occupying six of the top ten spots in investment.
- Rising interest rates mean that HNWIs are not relying on the generosity of central bank returns, instead they are looking for smart investment opportunities.
- Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s global head of research noted:
Property investors will become increasingly focused on income, asset management and development opportunities.”
- Education and the number of quality universities is a significant driver for purchases of first and second homes globally.
- Other factors include: security and luxury indicators such as five-star hotels and leading restaurants.
- Two cities that stood apart in lifestyle and safety were London and Tokyo.
- London had more five-star hotels – 76 – and quality universities.
- Tokyo ranked highest for luxury dining for being the safest city, according to The Economist Safe Cities Index.
- Looking beyond the report, luxury real estate shows no sign of slowing, with the world’s elite continuing to seek out top-tier properties.
- According to luxuryfact:
Luxury consumers are highly focused on making good investments and want to maximise the value of their properties.”
- HNWIs view real estate as a ‘wealth creator’ leading to wealth and success.
- Strutt & Parker predicts that house prices in the UK will grow by 2.5% in 2019 and 18% in five years.
- This growth has led to projects such as Hoola in London’s Royal Docks (part of the London Borough of Newham’s Arc of Opportunity, a region with £22 bn worth of development potential in terms of business, homes, offices and leisure).