Sydney, Melbourne top 10 for world's wealthiest to invest: Knight Frank

Sydney, Melbourne top 10 for world's wealthiest to invest: Knight Frank
Sydney, Melbourne top 10 for world's wealthiest to invest: Knight Frank

Australia was now a key focus internationally for the super-rich, according to Knight Frank’s Global Head of Residential Lord Andrew Hay.

Sydney and Melbourne are on the top 10 list of most important cities globally for the wealthiest to invest, according to the Knight Frank City Wealth Index.

Sydney ranked 4th and Melbourne ranked 10th in the ‘investment’ category.

“Countries that offer a fiscal and political ‘safe haven’, as well as excellent quality of life, are expected to see strong growth over the next decade in UHNWI populations," he said.

Hay was in Sydney on Wednesday to promote Knight Frank’s 11th annual Wealth Report.

Lord Hay said that the increase in the ultra-wealthy population globally has occurred despite ongoing political and economic uncertainty around the world having more of an impact on future trends. 

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Sydney, Melbourne top 10 for world's wealthiest to invest: Knight Frank

“The momentum gained in wealth creation in 2016, although relatively modest, was far from being a foregone conclusion, especially given that nearly three-quarters of respondents to our Attitudes Survey highlighted political uncertainty as a significant threat to their clients’ availability to create and preserve wealth.”

Lord Hay said that since the global financial crisis in 2008, the world’s wealthiest people have shifted their focus from the size of returns to the safety of their capital.

"Property remains a target for outbound capital and our Attitudes Survey revealed 32% of UHNWIs globally will invest in offshore residential property in the next two years.”

He noted over the next ten years, key developments attracting global wealth into Australia will include Crown Sydney, One Sydney, One Sydney Harbour and Melbourne’s One Queensbridge

“Properties such as these offer a new investment proposition for inbound global wealth,” he said.

Knight Frank’s Director, Sales & Marketing One Queensbridge, Erin van Tuil is leading the marketing for the development, in collaboration with Crown Resorts and Schiavello Group.

According to Michelle Ciesielski, Knight Frank Australia’s Head of Residential Research, Sydney recorded the highest global inflow migration of high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) at 4,000 in 2015, followed by Melbourne at 3,000; equivalent to four per cent of their established HNWI base.

“Ongoing migration to Australia is the attractive lifestyle and relatively healthy economy. Australia is projected to see a 70% growth in the UHNWI population between 2016 and 2026.” 

While Sydney and Melbourne house prices have doubled since the end of the financial crisis in 2009, these prices were "cheap" by "global standards", as shown in The Wealth Report. 

Sydney ranked 59 on the "square metres per $US dollar" scale and Melbourne is ranked at 110.

According to the Wealth Report, $US1 million ($1.3 million) buys 17 square metres in Monaco or 26 square metres in New York, 59 square metres in Sydney and 110 square metres in Melbourne.

“Within a global marketplace Sydney does look cheap, there’s no doubt about that,” says Lord Hay.

“And I don’t think you are heading for a crash.”

The Australian market was fundamentally healthy.

“To have a really successful market, you need a combination of overseas and local investment,” he noted.

“For me, the perfect ratio is 60 per cent domestic demand, 40 per cent overseas demand, so then you get the growth fuelled from overseas but it’s underpinned by a real domestic market.

“Here, you have that great balance. And for me, that’s what makes a sustainable market, but also an exciting market.”

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Sydney, Melbourne top 10 for world's wealthiest to invest: Knight Frank 

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Sydney, Melbourne top 10 for world's wealthiest to invest: Knight Frank

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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