London the globe's top city to live and work for ultra rich

17 June 2021 2 min. read
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The number of households with income of more than $100,000 will grow by 45% by 2025, according to a new study. London and New York remain the most attractive hubs for high net worth individuals, and as such look set to benefit most from newly wealthy individuals.

Despite the pressures of Brexit and the Government’s slapstick handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK’s capital city is still considered one of the world’s most stable population centres. As a result it is repeatedly ranked as one of the best placed to live and work for the world’s ultra-wealthy individuals.

According to Knight Frank’s latest Wealth Report, London and New York are still the most important cities for ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) to live, invest and do business. The two hubs rank joint first in the Knight Frank City Wealth Index, ahead of Paris follows in third position, with its rankings boosted by the lifestyle the city has to offer.

Urban leaders The Knight Frank City Wealth Index 2021

Speaking on the two leading cities, Henry Faun, Partner, Knight Frank Private Office, Middle East said, “Given the established appeal of London as a cultural and business hub, ease of language, attractive educational system and weaker Pound Sterling in recent years, we see Middle Eastern demand for Prime London homes continuing in future years.”

London was ranked highest in terms of the lifestyle the diverse and innovative metropolis provides. It shared top spot with New York in terms of the city’s policies toward UHNWIs, though it ranked third in terms of its investment potential, beneath both New York and Tokyo.

However, while London ranked lower than New York for investment overall globally, it was London that saw the highest levels of cross-border capital flows for commercial real estate investment. Faun added that London also topped Knight Frank’s charts for the largest volume of prime residential property with a total of just below 70,000 homes worth over £2 million.

Rise of the mass affluent

Overall, meanwhile, European cities were found to be the leaders of the City Wealth Index. Europe claimed eight of the top 20 spots – largely driven by the investment and lifestyle factors. While Tokyo came fourth and Hong Kong fifth, Asia as a whole only managed to occupy five of the top 20 positions, behind North America, which occupied seven spaces.

According to the broader study, meanwhile, the number of households with income of more than $100,000 is likely to explode before 2025. The 45% growth over the next four years will see UHNWI populations hit 663,483 by then, with that figure being highest in North America.

North America will host more than 200,000 of the world’s UHNWI populations, ahead of Europe at around 185,000. Despite hosting a larger portion of the world’s population, Asia will only host around 161,000 at that time.