Where the wealthy live

Bigger budgets mean more choices in all areas of life, including housing.  In fact, you could make a strong case for arguing that housing is possibly the area in which the level of your budget makes the most difference to your life as the place you live will contribute significantly to your quality of life (or lack thereof).  When wealthy people choose to live in a place, it’s typically a sign that the place has a lot to offer, so here is a quick rundown of where the wealthy choose to live (according to the Knight Frank City Wealth Index) – and why.

London

This may come as a surprise given that London has been extremely vocal about its dislike of Brexit in general and the prospect of a hard Brexit in particular, however, rather ironically, the prospect of Brexit may have helped London regain its place at the top of the wealth index (which it briefly lost to New York) as the softer pound would have been welcome news to international property buyers, who understand London’s long-term value.  It also has to be said that not only did London undergo a process of transformation in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, but it has continued to receive investment in its infrastructure, particularly its transport infrastructure and while this may be far from perfect, its far better than in some of its global competitors.  London was not the only European city on the list, but, perhaps rather ironically, it’s closest rival, Paris, was only 11th on the list with Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich coming in at 12th, 13th and 17th and Amsterdam finishing the list in 20th place.

New York

New York is one of the U.S. major financial centres and is known as an economic powerhouse, so it’s hardly a surprise that it routinely appears on lists of places where there are high concentrations of wealthy people, in fact it often appears in top place, or at least it has long done so.  New York, however, also has its drawbacks, one of which being the high levels of taxation levied there, in spite of which, there has been a notable lack of investment in some areas of key infrastructure, especially public transport.  New York also raised eyebrows when its local authorities blocked Amazon from opening a new headquarters there, even though it would have brought an estimated 25,000 jobs, all generating taxes for the state.  It is believed that Amazon will now spread those jobs around the U.S.A. and it would appear that wealthy individuals are likewise spreading out from the big apple.  It may come as no surprise that celebrity hotspot Los Angeles is hot on the heels of New York, coming, fifth on the wealth index, but it may come as unexpected news that 6th place is taken not by San Francisco, but by Chicago, San Fransisco is only 16th on the list, just ahead of Washington and Atlanta in 18th and 19th places, indeed, even Toronto in Canada is well ahead of San Fransisco, taking 9th place.

Hong Kong

Not only is Hong Kong one of the biggest financial centres in the Asia Pacific area, the area it covers is tiny with high-rise housing being not just normal, but necessary and property prices being astronomical.  Notwithstanding this, Hong Kong offers a very high standard of living by any measure.  The island’s authorities have preserved enough green space to ensure that people do have an outdoors to enjoy and for all the city has the reputation of great modernity, it has also preserved much of its traditional heritage and the island’s close links with the UK mean that English is still widely spoken there, which increases its attractiveness both as a place for expats to live and as a place for global investors to do business.