The Estates Gazette Rich List for 2015 has once again shown that, for the world’s financial elite, the UK property market continues to be an extremely popular investment choice. Despite ongoing uncertainty in other areas of investment, British bricks and mortar remain in demand amongst those with the most to lose.
The list shows the world’s 250 richest people who have property investments within our shores and the story that it tells is an astonishing one. Over the last year, the net worth of the individuals included on the list jumped by 40 per cent to more than £300 billion. This is the largest year-on-year increase since the list began back in 2002, and the incredible statistics do not end there.
This year’s list included 60 billionaires amongst the 250, a six-fold increase on the 10 included in the 2009 list published by Estates Gazette. This jump is a further indication that the UK property market is widely regarded by the world’s wealthy as the place to invest, and it´s hardly surprising when you look at the volatility elsewhere at present.
Who fills the top three spots?
The top three places in this year’s list are as follows:
Once again, it is the Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega who heads the list. The man behind the high street fashion chain Zara has increased his property investments across London considerably over the last few years, and the results are plain to see. Ortega’s wealth has soared from £35.8 billion in 2014 to a staggering £46.7 billion this year.
His portfolio includes the former home of the Duke of Devonshire – Devonshire House on Piccadilly in the heart of London’s West End – which has since been turned into an office block for hedge fund investors. Other notable properties include a £400 million development in what is possibly Britain’s most famous shopping area, Oxford Street, which houses the budget fashion giant Primark’s flagship UK store. Overall, Mr Ortega’s portfolio is now worth in excess of £5.32 billion.
Wang Jianlin takes the second spot on the list with a personal fortune of £22.7 billion. Mr Wang, owner of the entertainment and real estate conglomerate Wanda Group, is China’s richest man and his position in the Estates Gazette Rich List has risen from sixth place last year.
The reason behind the rise in the rankings becomes clear when you see that Mr Wang’s wealth has jumped from £8.7 billion in 2014 to a remarkable £22.7 billion this year. The Wanda Group is behind the One Nine Elms development in London’s Vauxhall, bringing much needed regeneration to an area of London that has been neglected for some time.
Third place on the list is reserved for the pharmaceuticals heir, Ernesto Bertarelli. Bertarelli has maintained his position from the 2014 list thanks to his ownership of Crosstree Real Estate. Part of his £10.2 billion fortune is Crosstree’s portfolio, which includes prestigious London Mayfair sites in Berkeley Street and Dover Street.
With the top three spots on the list all taken by foreign investors, it’s clear to see that the world’s wealthiest people still regard the UK property market as one of the safest investment choices available. And, if you are looking for a shrewd bunch of people to get an inkling of where your money should be heading, you could do a lot worse than to follow this group´s lead.
If you enjoyed this blog post then perhaps you might like to read “Will The Buy-To-Let Market Still Be Successful In 2016?“