More than 150 homes around the world changed hands for more than £20m ($25m) each in the past year, as the “relentless creation of private wealth” fuelled the global ultra-prime housing market.
The world’s richest people spent a combined £5.2bn ($6.6bn) on 153 properties that each sold for more than £20m in the year to end of August 2018, according to research by the estate agent Knight Frank.
The highest number of ultra-prime sales were in Hong Kong, where 47 homes priced at £20m or above changed hands. New York was in second place with 39. London – which topped the rankings in 2015 when £2.3bn of ultra-prime properties changed hands – slipped to third place with 38 transactions.
Most of the ultra-prime sales in London were in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, all of which are within the borough of the City of Westminster.
The UK’s ranks of the ultra-rich have swelled by 400 over the last year, taking the number of people with fortunes of more than £38m ($50m) to nearly 5,000. The fortunes of the already very wealthy have been growing at a far faster rate than the general population, according to a report by the Swiss bank Credit Suisse.
The number of ultra-high net worth individuals in Britain over the 12 months to summer 2018 increased by 8.5% to 4,670, while the average Briton saw their wealth, including property, increase by 1% to £213,000.