International property consultancy Knight Frank reported on Wednesday that Riyadh accounted for 198,789 of Saudi Arabian households earning more than $250,000 a year.
Jeddah follows with 130,849. The figures were contained in the firm’s latest Wealth Report 2018.
Regionally, Abu Dhabi has the highest number of households earning more than $250K at 270,686, and this number is forecast to grow seventh fastest globally to 426,890, overtaking London’s 382,807 by 2027, said Knight Frank.
The number of households earning more than $250K in Dubai currently stands at 245,272 and was expected to increase by 36,432 by 2027.
New York topped the table in the City Wealth Index, sweeping the board in every ranking. London was second overall — one of only two non-US cities in the top six along with Singapore, which tied with Chicago for fifth place. North American cities made up 10 of the top 20, with Asian cities occupying five spots.
Although there was an element of expectation that New York and London might be battling it out for top spot, there was a more surprising outcome in the projected growth in the number of households earning $250k and above over the next five years. Jakarta was the runaway leader, with over 223,447 set to break through that threshold, followed by Cairo on 152,643.
In terms of average spend per overnight visit to global cities, Melbourne, Dubai, Sydney and Tel Aviv topped the table. But for overall wealth index rankings — which accounts for factors such as the number of high net worth individuals and amount of investment in commercial property — New York, London and San Francisco were in the lead.
Turning to annual house price growth, Knight Frank reported that in the Middle East, Istanbul took top place with growth of almost 5 percent, but with inflation in Turkey at almost 13 percent in 2017, prices declined in real terms. Dubai’s story in 2017 was one of stabilization.
Knight Frank said: “In the first nine months of the year, prime sales volumes (in Dubai) rose by 6 percent and the total value of prime transactions reached 2.27 billion dirhams, up 9 percent from the same period a year earlier. Ahead of Expo 2020, large-scale investment in new infrastructure projects is expected to filter through into market sentiment.”
In terms of high net worth individuals (HNWIs), New York is a dominant center for HNWIs (based on households earning more than $250,000 annually), with almost double the population of Los Angeles in second place. The top nine places on this measure all go to North American cities, with London filling the tenth spot.
But over the next five years this is expected to change with Jakarta and Cairo seeing the biggest increase in this bracket, followed by New York, Los Angeles and Delhi.
London was top of the hotel rankings, with 75 five-star hotels as listed on reservations website Five Star Alliance, comfortably topping Dubai’s 61. Dubai’s overnight visitors were the biggest spenders, with a total expenditure of $28.5 billion. New York was in second place, with visitors notching up a $17 billion spend. In terms of average overnight visitor spend, Melbourne was on top with an average of $1,925 per person, followed closely by Dubai at $1,917.
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The report also revealed that Middle Eastern investors’ exposure to property had increased by 30 percent in 2017. And 57 percent of private bankers and wealth advisers in the Middle East anticipated their client’s wealth would likely increase in the coming years.
Around 62 percent of respondents in a survey of investment advisers, part of the Wealth Report, said that their clients had increased their exposure to equities over the past year. However, the second largest rise was in real estate, with 56 percent on average reporting an increase across the globe.
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