New York Is Officially the World’s Wealthiest City for Real Estate

Adelicia Caree

New York is home to the highest number of ultrawealthy homeowners in the world. Despite the economic shakeup caused by COVID-19, New York remains the world capital for wealthy homeowners. Nearly 25,000 ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals—those with a net worth of over $30 million—have primary or secondary residences in the Big […]

New York is home to the highest number of ultrawealthy homeowners in the world.

Despite the economic shakeup caused by COVID-19, New York remains the world capital for wealthy homeowners.

Nearly 25,000 ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals—those with a net worth of over $30 million—have primary or secondary residences in the Big Apple, according to a new report from financial insight company WealthX and real estate platform REALM.

“This reflects New York’s status as a global center for finance and commerce that offers a rich blend of cultural and luxury lifestyle opportunities, high-quality education and prime real estate,” indicated the report, which tallied figures from last December.

Of New York’s 24,660 UHNW individuals, just over half had secondary homes in the city rather than primary residences.

The report, titled “Spotlight on the World’s Leading Markets for the Wealthy: Residential Real Estate 2021,” included both primary and secondary homes to provide a more holistic view of the ultrawealthy demographic’s “residential footprint.”

“This footprint is significant because, even if only for days or weeks in a given year, any type of residential presence represents an opportunity for organizations that seek to understand and engage the world’s wealthy.”

Aided by its size and geographic diversity, the U.S. dominated the rankings, representing 11 of the top 20 markets.

L.A. came in second place with close to 16,300 ultra-high-net-worth individuals, of whom two thirds had secondary properties in the City of Angels.

London, the first non-U.S. city on the list, came in third with 14,485 ultrawealthy individuals, more than 68% of whom had secondary residences in the U.K. capital.

It was followed by Hong Kong, with 14,235 ultrawealthy residents, and Paris, with 7,035.

In New York, London, and Hong Kong, secondary homeowners were more likely to be female and slightly younger than primary residents.

“Reflecting their choice to spend most of their time in the world’s leading global financial centers, [they] comprise a high proportion of self-made wealthy individuals with a higher-than-average focus on banking and finance as their primary industry,” the report states.

The highest density of superrich residents was in Monaco, with one UHNW footprint for every 29 residents. The principality was followed by Aspen, Colorado, with one for every 47.

These numbers, while impressive, will likely shift in the coming year or two as the pandemic blurs lines between primary and secondary residences.

“The pandemic has set up the best market for second and even third homes in the luxury real estate market,” Joanne Nemerovski, a luxury real estate adviser at Compass in Chicago, said recently to Mansion Global of the report. “Regardless of how amazing their main residence is, this group of wealthy individuals is used to travel, and it’s hard for them to stay put. Variety is the spice of life.”

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