US dominates the globe with most ultra-high-net-worth homeowners

Inman News

The US notched 14 spots among 20 global cities in a new analysis of homeowners with a net worth of at least $30M. New York City clinched the top spot on a list compiled by REALM and WealthX

When it comes to cities with the greatest residential footprint of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, the United States has everyone else beat.

The U.S. boasts 14 cities with the most ultra-high-net-worth owners of primary and secondary residences, securing its place among the world’s highest concentrations of individuals with a net worth of at least $30 million, according to a new report released Tuesday by REALM and WealthX in conjunction with the analytics firm Altrata.

New York City clinched the top spot, with 21,714 ultra-high-net-worth homeowners, according to the report, “Residential Real Estate 2023: Spotlight on the World’s Leading Markets for the Wealthy.” London took second place with 21,714 similarly moneyed property owners, and Hong Kong followed close behind with 15,175 ultra-high-net-worth individuals, according to the data.

“As we’ve emerged from years riddled with uncertainty around a global pandemic, social unrest, political discourse, and natural disasters, regardless of your age or demographic, luxury has made a monumental shift in the minds of the global population and we are all, perhaps, a little more united in how we describe, seek and experience ‘luxury’ in our daily life,” Julie Faupel, founder and CEO of REALM, said in a statement to Inman. “This report illuminates that the great lifestyle migration is being experienced in all geographies, and we need to be prepared to accommodate new demands and preferences being influenced by the world’s most affluent consumers.”

Other U.S. cities that made the cut include Los Angeles (no. 4), Miami (no. 5), San Francisco (no. 6), Washington, D.C. (no. 10), Boston (no. 11), San Jose (no. 12), Dallas (no. 14), Houston (no. 15), Seattle (no. 16), Atlanta (no. 18), Denver (no. 19) and Phoenix (no. 20), according to the analysis.

The analysis goes on to note that Beijing overtook Singapore’s place among the top 10, and Germany, which boasts the world’s third-largest ultra-high-net-worth market overall, is not represented in the top 25 cities with high concentrations of ultra-rich property owners.

The report also dives into trends across the globe, including cities popular for secondary homeownership and what the profile of ultra-high-net-worth property owners looks like today in select global luxury markets, each of which are described as hubs for “primary commercial interests and in proximity to social and talent networks, new investment opportunities, and an array of cultural, educational, entertainment and lifestyle services.”

New York, Miami and Los Angeles ranked as the top three U.S. cities by ultra-high-net-worth secondary homeownership. While New York’s residential footprint is pretty evenly divided between primary and secondary residences, Miami has the highest ratio of ultra-high-net-worth second-homeowners to primary-homeowners, the report noted, with a ratio of nearly four to one.

At the global level, London is the clear frontrunner for second-homeownership with 9,538 ultra-high-net-worth second-homeowners, compared to Beijing’s 6,966 and Singapore’s third-place 3,586 second-homeowners.

London also boasted a huge proportion of ultra-high-net-worth second-homeowners compared to primary homeowners with a ratio of approximately five to one, due to its financial, cultural, real estate and tax-planning appeal.

When it comes to density of ultra-high-net-worth individuals located within a city, Aspen is the crowning champ in the U.S. with only 67 city residents per every primary or secondary homeowner. Aspen is followed by Naples, Florida, where there are 141 city residents per every ultra-high-net-worth primary or secondary homeowner and Greenwich, Connecticut, where there are 328 city residents for every primary or secondary homeowner.

As highly concentrated Aspen is, it can’t beat Monaco on the global stage, where there are just 39 city residents for every ultra-high-net-worth primary or secondary homeowner. After Monaco, Geneva takes second place by density with 213 city residents for every ultra-high-net-worth primary or secondary homeowner. In third place is Hong Kong where there are 351 city residents for every ultra-high-net-worth primary or secondary homeowner.

The report also spotlights what the typical buyer looks like in the very distinct luxury markets of Dubai, Monaco and Los Angeles, noting that the cities are known as a tourist and expat hub, a traditional luxury haven and a global business and entertainment center, respectively.

Dubai UHNW homeowners are typically younger with an industry-oriented business focus, and at 91 percent, has a slightly higher male representation among UHNW individuals than the global UHNW population at large, which is 89 percent male.

Los Angeles ultra-high-net-worth homeowners are more likely to have self-made fortunes and utilize private jets frequently. At 15.2 percent, the female population of ultra-high-net-worth individuals is highest in Los Angeles, out of the three cities highlighted, and is four percentage points above the average global ultra-high-net-worth population.

Meanwhile, Monaco’s ultra-high-net-worth homeowners are typically secondary homeowners of a wide range of ages and nationalities. An interest in boating, travel and sports binds these classes of homeowners.

“Demand for luxury real estate is, and will continue to be, driven by the offer of prestige, status and a lifestyle, an attraction to unique and one-of-a-kind properties, and diversification of investment portfolios, as well as ongoing changes in preferences, such as the increase in remote work and an increase in cross-border investment among the younger generation of wealthy,” Beqo Hoti, founder and CEO of Shaza Luxury Real Estate, said in the report.