Where Ultra Rich Buy Second Homes in 2017


There are over 552,000 multi-millionaires worldwide, and 87% of them own and continue to buy second homes. The wealth analysts at New World Wealth (NWW) have compiled their annual report on second home buying by multi-millionaires, those with over US$10 million in assets. Old money cites top the list for the most secondary homes held by this segment of buyers, but some interesting new cities are experiencing rapid growth.

Traditionally wealthy cities like London, New York City and Hong Kong topped the list for second home buying for these affluent investors. London had the most second homes at 19,500, a decrease of 2,000 from 2015. Followed by New York with 18,400 second homes, an increase of 200 homes from 2015. In third was Hong Kong with 15,000, a 200 home increase from 2015.

Approximately 410,000 HNWIs are living in the Middle East, with combined wealth holdings of US$2.1 trillion. Approximately US$420 billion of Middle Eastern HNWI wealth is tied up with wealth management companies.

The UAE is the largest wealth management center in the Middle East with AuM of approximately US$150 billion at the end of 2016. Israel is the 2nd largest with AuM of approximately US$90 billion.

The most promising emerging Middle East markets for private banking going forward are: Qatar, Israel and Iran. AuM in these markets are expected to grow by around 8% per annum during the forecast period (2016 – 2026).

Nice weather may have attracted second home buyers in 2016, since Sydney, Australia and Miami, USA topped the list for growth. Miami had 5,000 second homes held by rich folks, a 29.95% increase from the year before. Sydney had 3,500 second homes held by this segment, a 29% increase from the year prior.

Political instability, one of the reasons wealthy families are migrating, may be driving wealthy second homeowners away. Paris was the biggest loser, with 4,800 second homes – a 23% decline from the year before. Rio had 3,600 second homes, a 16% decline from the year before. In third was London’s 19,500 second homes, a decline of a 9.3%. A previous report from NWW had stated that wealthy homeowners are the first to move at signs of political unrest, since they have the means to do so.

Old money cities have been used by millionaires keeping secondary homes for centuries, but new cities are in for quite the surprise. The uber rich appearing in relatively smaller markets like Sydney, and Miami has sent local property prices soaring. This isn’t a problem if these buyers are helping up and coming cities like Sydney turn into the next New York City – a city where wealthy immigrants bring and start industries. Not so great if they’re turning them into the next Monaco, where there’s only seasonal business catering to the super rich.


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