Real estate is most important to the total wealth holdings of European, Asian and Middle Eastern UHNWIs where more than a quarter of wealth is held in this form. It is however wealthy Europeans and Asians who are most likely to influence the world of real estate directly. American UHNWIs have the potential to do so by vastly increasing their direct property holdings, but at present they are more likely to influence it through financial instruments rather than direct investment.
When it comes to the individual countries that receive most cross-border real estate investment, the US stands out as a significant international market with over US$9 billion invested in big ticket deals in 2012/13.
The UK is the second largest recipient of cross-border investment after the US, with over US$7 billion large deals done in 2012. This inward investment represents nearly half of all UK deals, establishing it as a major cross-border market, ahead of China, where cross-border real estate investment is a tiny (circa 1%) share of all property deals.