Ultra-Rich Potential Real Estate Investors Are Growing

March 9, 2020

The ultra-wealthy may be looking to expand their real estate portfolios. The industry is watching closely as the number of high-net-worth individuals grows: About 31,000 more ultra-rich people emerged globally in 2019, which is an annual growth rate of 6%, according to a new report from U.K.-based real estate firm Knight Frank and New York brokerage Douglas Elliman. The growth rate of the ultra-rich, or those with a net worth of at least $30 million, was 4% in 2018.

North America saw the highest uptick in this segment, adding 13,911 people in 2019—higher than Asia’s 11,788 and Europe’s 4,682. Ultra-high-net-worth individuals’ ranks are expected to grow by about 27% over the next five years globally, according to the report. By 2024, there could be about 650,000 people around the world who each have at least $30 million. The countries seeing the fastest growth among this population are India (projected to see a 73% increase by 2024), followed by Egypt, Vietnam, and China. “Real estate marketers are paying close attention to where” these high-net-worth individuals are, Leonard Steinberg of Compass told The Wall Street Journal.

About 43% of 620 wealth advisers who manage the mega-rich’s money say they would increase their real estate exposure in 2020. Notably, Asian buyers have made the U.S. their top destination for residential real estate outside of their home country. “The appeal of holding a dollar-denominated asset in the world’s biggest economy is likely to increase on the back of 2019’s three rate cuts, with some buyers viewing the lull in the run up to the presidential election as a potential opportunity,” the report notes.

New York Condo Developers Have 31,000 Reasons to Smile,” The Wall Street Journal (March 4, 2020) [Log-in required.]