New York City is home to the most billionaires

Big Apple Billionaires Lead The Way On Luxury House Buying


New York City reigns as home to the most billionaires, a fact that has bolstered the city’s luxury housing prices, according to a report from Savills.

The 85 billionaires who make the Big Apple their main residence—ranging from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to energy guru David Koch—have helped push ultra-prime property prices up 15% over the past five years to $3,220 per square foot, according to Savills Research, which put all markets in U.S. dollars.

Still, New York’s wealthiest are getting a relative steal compared to Hong Kong and Tokyo, where top-tier homes cost nearly double or more and are getting increasingly more expensive.

It costs $8,370 per square foot for a top-tier property in Hong Kong, home to 79 billionaires and the most expensive real estate in the world. Ultra-prime housing prices have soared 51% over the past five years.

“It is no coincidence that many of the cities with the largest number of billionaires are also among the most expensive cities in the world for ultra-prime residential property,” said Sophie Chick, head of Savills World Research, in the report.

The Chinese capital of Beijing is one exception where luxury prices have yet to catch up with the pace of newly minted mega wealth. As the headquarters for many state-owned businesses, Beijing has the fourth-largest billionaire population in the world, with 61 people.

For the moment, according to market trends, the city remains one of the less expensive places to buy an ultra-prime home, at about $1,780 per square foot, double what it was five years ago. By comparison, financial centre Shanghai, home to 45 billionaires, has an average price of $2,740 per square foot.

“China’s relatively recent growth in wealth is also reflected in the average age of its billionaires—56 years,” according to the report. “This compares with 66 for the U.S. and 64 globally.”

The least expensive billionaire hub on Savills list was Dubai—where ultra-prime prices have increased a modest 13% over the past year to a paltry $750 per square foot. It houses only 15 billionaires.

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