Knight Frank Releases City Wealth Index

Published on 2018-06-07

New York tops the list in all four categories, with London second overall.

  • North America dominates Knight Frank’s City Wealth Index, North American cities made up 10 of the top 20, with Asian cities occupying five spots.
  • Singapore ties with Chicago in fifth place, Beijing and Shanghai rank 17 and 18 respectively

06 June 2018, Shanghai – Knight Frank, the independent global property consultancy, launched the Chinese version of 12th edition of The Wealth Report 2018 on 9 May, and releasing the new City Wealth Index.  The index identifies the cities that matter to the ultra-wealthy by analysing four critical measures of current wealth, investment, lifestyle and future economic performance. Using this new methodology, New York emerges as the top city of the survey with a clean sweep of all four categories, knocking London, last year’s top city, into second place.

San Francisco and Los Angeles occupy the third and fourth places. The two California cities made the top five in all categories except “Future”, where San Francisco placed a still impressive sixth, and “Lifestyle” where Los Angeles is ranked 12th.

Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city in the survey and the only one to make the top 5, sharing the overall spot with Chicago. Singapore scored high in “Wealth” coming in seventh globally and tied with the Windy City again in “Lifestyle” for a third place finish. Singapore also made the top 10 in “Future”, occupying the final slot in the category.

Tokyo and Hong Kong occupied places 8 and 9 in the overall ranking. The Japanese capital matched London’s second place score in “Future” and just missed the Top 5 in “Lifestyle” with a sixth place score. It was held back in the overall standings by a relatively poor showing in “Investment” at 22nd place. Likewise, Hong Kong scored third in “Wealth” and “Investment” and tenth in “Investment” but only managed 25th in “Future”, which hurt its overall standings. 

Beijing and Shanghai occupied places 17 and 18, surpassing Munich, Germany and Melbourne, Australia.

Nicholas Holt, Asia-Pacific Head of Research, Knight Frank, says, “Asian cities took three of the top 10 spots in the City Wealth Index. Singapore’s standout ranking a reflection of its strong performance across all criteria, with an especially impressive showing in lifestyle – considered increasingly important by the world’s international community. Tokyo and Hong Kong, the other Asian hubs that made the top grouping underlined their status as cities attracting attention from the world’s wealthy, with notable attention continuing to come from Chinese mainland investors.”

David Ji, Director and Head of Research & Consultancy, Greater China, says: “Last year Hong Kong continued to attract investors and investment from the Mainland where capital control was in place. Not only Hong Kong has become one of the key gateways of investment, it has now become the world’s biggest capital exporter.” 

Qi Wang, editorial director of WEALTH magazine, says, “We’ve noticed that the first generation of Chinese entrepreneurs, who has built great fortune rapidly during their beginning stage of business, are now facing an urgent issue of how to hand over the family business and family wealth smoothly to the next generation. According to a study of Wealth Report 2018, a large number of (Ultra) High Net Wealth families have problems in wealth succession and family spirit legacy, while only 26% of them have developed a comprehensive succession plan. Moreover, these billionaires have even neglected to realize the importance of educating their kids to manage the family wealth reasonably early.”

The Wealth Report 2018. Now in its 12th year, this annual publication examines price performance data for 100 global luxury property markets as well as the Global Wealth Distribution and Knight Frank’s City Wealth Index. Knight Frank will be holding large-scale forum sessions for the Wealth Report 2018 in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen on June 9, 12 and 15, respectively. The event will bring together hundreds of ultra-wealthy customers. 

Knight Frank invites Wealth Magazine to share insights into global wealth trends. Yingde Group, which specializes in immigration to Britain, will be sharing information on the lives of immigrants overseas. In addition, BE Education, which has been helping Chinese students enter their dream schools over the last 15 years will be analyzing recent trends and the choices faced when deciding to study abroad.

Knight Frank City Wealth Index 2018


Sources: Knight Frank, Macrobond, Wealth-X, New World Wealth, RCA, Oxford Economics, Five Star Alliance, Mastercard, Michelin, Times Higher Education, 2thinknow innovation cities index 2016-2017, The Wealth Report 2018 page 28