Since it was first published 10 years ago, The Wealth Report published by Knight Frank has highlighted the most important cities for the world’s wealthiest individuals. To mark their second decade, they have re-evaluated our criteria and created a new measure – the City Wealth Index.
To identify the world’s leading wealth centre, the Wealth Report looked at where the UHNWI live. New York comes first, with 6,570 UHNWI residents, outranking London’s 4,750 UHNWI. This first rank, however, is incomplete. As the UHNWIs are various, their principal residence is only a starting point when trying to unravel their favourite locations.
The City Wealth Index detailed by the Wealth Report uses four measures to identify the cities sought after by the UHNWI:
- Current wealth – the current population of UHNWIs ;
- Investment – the total amount, in US$, of private investment in property during 2016, weighted in favour of those markets with a high proportion of cross-border inbound investment ;
- Connectivity – the number of inbound and outbound first and business class flights in 2016 ;
- Future wealth – a forecast of each city’s UHNWI population in 2026, weighted in accordance with the findings of our Attitudes Survey.
Using this methodology, London emerges just ahead of New York overall with top scores for both investment and connectivity, while New York leads on both current and future wealth. From a European perspective, nevertheless, London is the only European city in the top 10 and, with the exception of Moscow and London, all European cities score lower for future than for current wealth.
Future wealth concentrations and investment firepower look set to be dominated by a competition between Asian and North American cities.
The third and fourth largest concentrations of wealth today, Hong Kong and San Francisco, are likely to be eclipsed by the rising fortunes of Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing, which are all expected to see their wealthy populations grow rapidly over the next decade.