The flow of wealth

We pinpoint the major locations around the globe favoured by UHNWI buyers of luxury residential real estate.

21 January 2014, Words by Paul Tostevin


With the importance of private wealth growing in all areas of real estate investment, we believe that understanding the geography and preferences in the residential sector can shed light on UHNWI investment behaviour in other sectors too.


The map above shows the major locations around the world favoured by UHNWI buyers of residential real estate. It highlights not only where they like to live but also the geographies and jurisdictions that they might favour for other types of real estate holdings — and other investments — as well.

Most notably, when it comes to residencies, UHNWIs may invest cross-border but they will tend to stick to destinations within their global region, to areas they call “home”. North Americans are the most loving of their home nation and overwhelmingly favour the US. Latin Americans are similar but will also venture northwards to cover the entire American continent, including the Caribbean.

Africans, Asians and those from the Middle East are also concentrated in their own regions but Europeans are a little more widely dispersed.

The more established wealth of Europe seems best versed in the notion of global home-ownership. Not only is Europe itself full of billionaire boltholes but Europeans themselves venture to many luxury island resorts in the Caribbean and the Far East as well as into parts of the US and Canada.

One city that stands out as an extraordinary exception when it comes to overseas residencies is London. This city is a second home to UHNWIs from all regions of the globe. This buyer behaviour in residential real estate both reflects and has a knock-on effect on other types of real estate ownership too. London is a large part of the UK’s dominance in cross-border real estate investment of all types. Residential property is just a part of this global city phenomenon.


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Key Contacts

Paul Tostevin

Paul Tostevin

Associate Director
World Research

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 7016 3883