6000 Indians have ultra high net worth of over ₹215 cr

India has 5,986 ultra high net worth individuals, each with over US$ 30 million (around Rs.215 crore), and it is globally ranked 12th on the list of countries with most such people.

The United States dominates the ranking with over 2.4 lakh UHNWIs, followed by China with 61,587 and Germany 23,078, according to the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2020 . Globally, over 31,000 additional UHNWIs were created in 2019, bringing the total to more than 513,200.

“The number of UHNWIs in India is predicted to grow by a whopping 73% in the next five years, almost doubling the count to 10,354 from 5,986 in 2019,” said the report.

By 2024, Asia will be the world’s second largest wealth hub outperforming Europe, with a five-year growth forecast of 44%. Despite such a steep rise, it will reach only half the size of North America’s UHNWI population, which is predicted to rise 22% over the same period.

Despite wealth growth and record low interest rates in most advanced economies, the global economic slowdown weighed on prime property prices across the globe. For instance, Mumbai saw a tepid growth of 0.5% last year, Delhi 4.7% and Bengaluru 2.1%. Frankfurt and Lisbon topped the list with an annual price change of 10.3% and 9.6%, respectively.

When it comes to luxury properties, Monaco remains the world’s most expensive city where US$1 million (Rs.7.2 crore) can buy you a mere 16.4 square metre or 176 square feet of space. Comparatively in Mumbai, you can buy 102.2 sq m or 1,098 sq ft (approximate size of a decent two-bedroom flat in the city).

Shishir Baijal, chairman & MD, Knight Frank India, said, “While prime property prices have stayed stable in the past five years, the relative stability of the Indian rupee still allows investors and end-users to buy more prime real estate in India today than in 2015. At -1% for 2020, prime property price growth in Mumbai is expected to face challenges, as the current economic slowdown will continue to influence market liquidity.” Equity investments remained the most attractive asset class for Indian UHNWIs with 83% of them in India plan to increase or maintain their allocations in equities, followed by bonds (77%) and property (51%).

So, which are the best cities for UHNWIs to live, invest and do business in? According to the Knight Frank City Wealth Index, New York captured the top spot from London based on wealth, investment and lifestyle. With London in the second spot, Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles round out the top five cities.

The Luxury Investment Index shows ‘collectable handbags’ has topped the index, rising in value by 13% over 12 months to Q4 2019, knocking rare whisky off its number one spot. “The index results show that on an annual basis, handbags outperformed both whisky and art, which both recorded growth of 5%. Classic cars, another strong performer in recent years, slipped 7%,” it said.

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