China trumps US for most real estate billionaires in the world

Hurun report ranks the US second worldwide for number of property billionaires — led by a certain Donald

Beijing CBD. Svilen G/Shutterstock

China is home to most of the world’s property billionaires, eclipsing the populace of those in the UK and the US by a large margin, according to Global Real Estate Rich List by research platform Hurun Report.

Around 139 real estate billionaires with a combined net worth of USD550 billion call Greater China home, including Hong Kong which has 25 property billionaires, the most of any city in the world. Six other Chinese cities make the top 10, led by Shenzhen with 17 real estate billionaires and Beijing with 15.

China is home to Xu Jiayin, the wealthiest real estate billionaire in the world with a net worth of USD37 billion. Xu chairs Shenzhen-based development titan Evergrande, which has sold USD85 billion in residential property covering 52 million square metres.

“The urbanisation mega trend in China has driven the biggest wealth explosion in the history of world, with the result that most of the world’s largest real estate developers today come from China,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief Researcher of Hurun Report.

The US ranks next to China with a property billionaire populace of 26, accounting for 11 percent of the global total. With a wealth of USD110 billion between them, US property billionaires are mainly spread in New York, home to nine; Los Angeles, with two; and Newport Beach, two.

Donald Bren, who made his fortune from Irvine Company, ranks the most affluent real estate billionaire in the US with a net worth of USD17 billion.

More: A tale of two tiers in China

US President Donald Trump came in at 82nd place on the list with USD3 billion, “mainly on the back of his New York real estate and golf courses,” the report stated.

“Trump had far and away the largest social media impact.  In China it was led by husband and wife Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin,” the report added.

The UK came in third with 17 real estate billionaires, led by Hugh Grosvenor and Charles Cadogan, with a combined wealth of USD66 bilion between them.

Four of the UK real estate billionaires are sixth generation or more. Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster with a net worth of USD17 billion, is the youngest on the list.