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By Lucy McGuire | 03 January 2018

10 Cities where the world’s richest people love to live

Where in the world do the richest people live and which cities do the ultra-affluent find most appealing? These are questions many of us would like to know and thanks to some new research, the answers have been unveiled.

In their latest World Ultra Wealth Report, Wealth-X, who provide business insights and research, shared some compelling findings recently reported in Business Insider. They looked at ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals (those with $30m or more in net worth) and came up with a list of the Top 30 UHNW cities in the world.

Here are 10 of our favourites.


1. New York

UHNW residents: 8,350

The USA is the most sought-after country for affluent property investors and New York - the city where ‘dreams are made of’ - ranks number one among the world’s elite. In fact, the Big Apple plays home to more billionaires than any other city on the planet. With iconic movie set sights, a diverse population and innovative food, fashion and entertainment scene, it’s easy to see why.

New York © Jörg Shubert

Photo credit: © Jörg Shubert via Flickr Creative Commons

2. Hong Kong

UHNW residents: 7,650

Business and property magnates, tech leaders and gambling tycoons all gravitate to the dazzling city of Hong Kong. ‘In addition to a red-hot property market that offers not only security but capital appreciation, Hong Kong is the gateway to China,’ says Zackary Wright, executive director for the Asia Pacific at Christies. ‘One can enjoy the serenity of a secluded beach or experience the hustle of perhaps the most energetic city in the world’ he says – which is perhaps why luxury apartments can reach highs of $150 million here.

Hong Kong © Aotaro

Photo credit: © aotaro via Flickr Creative Commons

3. Tokyo

UHNW residents: 6,040

Tokyo is one of the world’s most densely populated mega-cities. However, it’s also home to one of the world’s highest growing populations of ultra-wealthy residents. One of the most pioneering countries in car manufacturing and of course, world leaders in technology, Japan has plenty to attract the affluent to its ultra-modern capital. Most UHNWs here live in the Kantō region of the city.

Tokyo © M M

Photo credit: © M M via Flickr Creative Commons

4. LA

UHNW residents: 4,600

Home to glitz, glamour and star-studded neighbourhoods like the Hollywood Hills and Rodeo Drive, the City of Angels is the dream destination for the rich and famous to buy property. Most affluent residents in LA reside in the chic oasis of Long Beach and nearby city of Anaheim, where a pad can sell for a cool $4 million.

La © M Lu Fotos

Photo credit: © mLu.fotos via Flickr Creative Commons

5. London

UHNW residents: 3,630

Ranking fourth in the top 30 billionaire cities, the UK capital continues to rank highly among overseas investors. And while Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill are the most desirable neighbourhoods, homes in Belgravia have been known to sell for around $30 million.

‘Many HNWIs look for trophy properties in trophy addresses,’ explains Louisa Brodie of Banda Property. ‘Whether you want the highest lateral flat in a development like One Hyde Park, or to be in an iconic building like Battersea Power Station, London offers new concepts of lifestyle choice that are highly attractive for UHNWs.’

London © Mark Ramsay

Photo credit: © Mark Ramsay via Flickr Creative Commons 

6. Paris

UHNW residents: 3,440

Aside from the romance, sophistication and chic café culture, Paris has a strong allure for the world’s most wealthy home owners. In 2016, its population of UHNW individuals had grown by 4.6%. And if you have expensive tastes, you’ll probably have your heart set on an opulent apartment in the central Île-de-France area. Price tags here can reach somewhere in the region of $30 million.

Paris © Gckwolfe

Photo credit: © gckwolfe via Flickr Creative Commons

7. Dallas

UHNW residents: 2,330

Thanks to the Texas oil boom, Dallas has one of the strongest financial hubs in the USA and remains a magnet for some of the world’s most affluent people. Its international airport, Dallas-Fort-Worth, covers a larger area than the island of Manhattan, and its property is equally enormous - some of its most decadent mansions occupy some 16,000 square feet of estate.

Dallas © Michael Zanussi

Photo credit: © Michael Zanussi via Flickr Creative Commons

8. San Francisco

UHNW residents: 2,310

The home of Silicon Valley – and HQ of around 40 businesses from the Fortune 1000 – it comes as no surprise that The City by the Bay made it onto the list of the top 30 UHNW cities. The Golden Gate Bridge, traditional cable car and twisty Lombard Street (which has appeared in various classic movies) are just some of the iconic sights that would lure the world’s richest here.

San Francisco © Frank Shulenburg

Photo credit: © Frank Shulenburg via Flickr Creative Commons

9. Houston

UHNW residents: 2,290

The HQ of the world-famous NASA Space Center and a leading city in the aeronautics, energy and technology industry, Houston is one of the USA’s most important cities. With the tenth largest population of ultra-affluent people in the world, residential properties can cost up to $10-20 million - some of the most sought-after include historic Georgian style mansions set in leafy landscaped estates.

Houston © Frank Shulenburg

Photo credit: © amslerPIX via Flickr Creative Commons

10. Singapore

UHNW residents: 2,170

Once known as the world’s most expensive city, Singapore naturally attracts wealthy home owners and travellers. This ultra-modern metropolis has a booming economy and property in this densely-populated city is as sky-high as the architecture. A three-story penthouse has been known to market for a substantial $72 million.

Singapore © Aotaro

Photo credit: © aotaro via Flickr Creative Commons