The Chinese are coming!
Not only are they invading Britain for their shopping sprees but better still have become the richest landowners, usurping the number one spot from the Duke of Westminster as the London property market booms.
The Duke, who has topped each of the ten previous rich lists for UK property, compiled by Estates Gazette, fell to fourth behind investors from China, Hong Kong and the Swiss-based Ruben brothers.
As a whole, the UK saw a sixty per cent rise to £162.5 billion in the total wealth of its richest two hundred and fifty top property investors – the biggest annual rise so far. The list also confirms London’s position as ‘the real estate capital of the world’, with the number of ‘super prime’ homes – accepted as those worth £10 million or more – under construction in Westminster more than doubling in the past two years.
Damian Wild, editor of Estates Gazette, said that the Duke may never again gain first place in the property rich list. ‘London is the real estate capital of the world,’ he said. ‘It is an established hub for global businesses of all shapes and sizes, and it is a market that can make shrewd investors fabulously wealthy. Given how the global economy is shifting, the Duke may never top the property rich list again.’
Even though the Duke’s estate increased in value by £500 million over the past year to £8 billion, he was beaten by China-based Wang Jianlin, with property holdings of £10.4 billion, Hong Kong-based Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, with £10.3 billion, and David & Simon Ruben, with £8.3 billion.
Philip Beresford, who compiled the list, said that despite London prices appearing ‘insane’ growth in the coming year is ‘sustainable’.
With Asia as a whole not being hampered as much as Europe by the economic recession, and the divide between rich and poor now more pronounced globally as never before, the super rich are getting bolder, richer and their horizons more reachable than one would have anticipated during the last few decades.
For the economic reality is plain to see. Money does not vanish in a global recession; it simply changes hands. And those with greedy hands become the masters of the universe. And so the story goes on and the nouveau pauvres, who technically make up the middle classes, strive for survival in order to keep pace with their changing circumstances. Although money is considered by many to be the root of all evil, all clamour to have it – even if it ultimately brings them damnation.