Wealth tracker takes note of prime Aspen real estate

  • Aspen Daily News Staff Report


  • Mar 27, 2018

The 2018 edition of “The Wealth Report” is out and, not surprisingly, Aspen has earned a prominent mention in the publication that focuses on global property markets, wealth distribution and investors. This year’s report, the 12th annual, was produced jointly by Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank Residential, with data provided by the market research firm Wealth-X.

“Increasingly, the trends of the world’s wealthiest are influencing markets around the globe. The Wealth Report provides unique insight into the evolving behaviors of this important investment class and is a valuable guide to the emerging trends that are shaping our residential real estate markets worldwide,” according to the summary.

Among its key findings is wealth concentration; the report notes that the number of individuals with $50 million or more in net assets increased by 10 percent during 2017, “taking the total to 129,730 individuals globally.”

Of that group, who are classified as “ultra high net worth individuals,” 20 percent in North America “plan to buy another residential home in-country in 2018, versus 10 percent who plan to purchase a home out-of-country.”

Where do the ultra rich want to own? New York came in first, “based on wealth, investment opportunity, lifestyle and future growth,” according to the report. Finishing right behind the Big Apple were London and San Francisco.

Aspen’s desirability was also noted in the section about the world’s luxury residential property markets.

“In Aspen, the residential prime property market — recognized as the top 5 percent of the market by price — recorded the third-largest price increase worldwide in 2017, with a 19 percent year-over-year growth,” according to the 2018 Wealth Report.

Guangzhou, China, “leads this year’s prime property market rankings, with prices up 27 percent year-over-year,” the report says. Seoul, South Korea, and Hong Kong continued to be strong performers in the prime property market sector. Four cities in Europe — Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid — were among the world’s top 10 prime performing residential markets.

The ultra wealthy invested in more than just property during 2017. 

“Art led all asset categories in 2017, its value increasing 21 percent year-over-year,” according to the report, which points out that last year, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci sold for $450 million, which crushed the previous world record set in 2015 by the sale of a Picasso for $179 million.

“Investment-grade wine, which was the top-performing asset class in 2016 with a growth of 24 percent, put in another double-digit performance last year,” according to the report.

Classic cars and rare wristwatches were also popular acquisitions last year among the very well-heeled.

North America is home base to the “world’s largest wealth region. Some 34 percent of the world’s ultra wealthy are based here, and their ranks rose by a further 5 percent last year, taking the total to 44,000,” it reported. New York has the most households that earn over $250,000 annually, followed by Los Angeles.

The future looks rosy for the just plain wealthy, as well as the ultra wealthy across the globe, according to the report. It points out that the number of individuals with $5 million in net assets is projected to rise 43 percent during the next four years.