Landownership, as an expression of Wealth, is just as important today as it has been historically. Land, or Real Estate, not only acts as a safe haven in times of turbulence, it also aids the diversification of Wealth into separate asset classes and geographic regions. What’s more is that Real Estate is a very visual symbol of power and sophistication.
Take one of the UK’s richest landlords, Gerald Grosvenor, who owns 190 acres in Belgravia, an area adjacent to Buckingham Palace and one of London’s most expensive neighbourhoods. Altogether, the Grosvenor Group owns Real Estate on five continents and reports just under $20 billion in Assets-under-Management, according to Forbes.
The last fifty or so years has seen an increasing focus on Real Estate as an Investment holding. The returns, for some, have proven to be exceptional especially, if one managed to predict and execute deals at the right time in the economic cycle.
In more recent times, and especially after the financial downturn of 2008, the correlation between Private Wealth and large Real Estate transactions has, and is seeing, a remarkable shift. As reported by Savills, Private Wealth has become increasingly important in large Real Estate transactions globally and has grown nearly threefold since 2009. In fact, it is now the leading form of finance being used in over half of the world’s biggest property transactions. If the predictions of an average annual increase of 4% in the UHNW population proves accurate (source: Wealth-X), by 2020 the world’s population of UHNW individuals could exceed 260,000, with a combined wealth of more than $40 trillion. As a result, Private Wealth could indeed continue to pour into our Cities and what better way, for the increasing number of UHNW individuals, but to secure a long-term return by investing in something tangible.
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