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10 things we learned from the Knight Frank Wealth Report

From investor property hotspots and geo-political shifts to luxury spending trends, these are the sharpest insights from the real estate brand’s latest report

Every year, Knight Frank brings together the latest intelligence and sharpest insight into the issues that matter most to the world’s wealthy. From real estate to investment, the results are always fascinating — but we’re particular taken with this year’s raft of revelations.

So, from a classic Ferrari speeding to the top of auction records and a certain New York airport becoming the world’s premier private jet destination, to the colour of diamonds you should be investing in, these are the 10 things we learned from the 2019 Knight Frank Wealth Report.

London has more UHNWIs than any other city in the world

That’s Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, for those of you out of the loop with acronyms. And, to qualify for this 5-letter group, you need an 8-figure bank balance. Over $30 million in the coffer, to be exact.

London has 4,944 of these well-off individuals, and is followed in the top five by Tokyo (with 3,732), Singapore (with 3,598), New York (with 3,38) and Hong Kong (with 3,010).

Manila is your new property hotspot

2018 saw many cities’ prime property prices soar — but thrilling the market and coming out swinging to the top was Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Mixing Spanish colonial design with modern skyscrapers, it’s a treat for ardent followers of architecture, and property prices rose by 11 per cent here last year.

It’s a figure Knight Frank found when compiling their Prime International Residential Index (PIRI), which tracks over 100 locations worldwide. Interestingly, almost 75 per cent of all destinations saw a rise in prices last year.

Ferrari sped to a classic car record at auction

In August, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, a two-seater coupe, sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction in California for a gear-shifting, game-changing $48.4 million. It was not only the highest auction price ever for a car — but it shattered the previous highest price, $38 million for another Ferrari in 2014.

The car itself was one of 36 ever made, and had won the 1962 Italian GT Championship — meaning it had lots of interest at the Monterey sales.

New York’s Teterboro Airport became the world centre of private jet flight

It may not be the New York airport that first flies into your mind, but Teterboro Airport was named by Knight Frank in their Wealth Report as the world’s busiest private aviation hub in 2018.

With over 66,968 jets leaving the airport in Bergen County in 2018, that averages at 183 privately owned planes taking off everyday. That’s a lot of money — and even more airmiles.

Whisky is your new sure thing investment

Whisky has attracted influential admirers of late. Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s private jet has recently been spotted at Aberdeen airport, and even Jeff Bezos is said to be an avid collector. Sales of scotch to India, China and Singapore also rose by 44 per cent in the first half of 2018 alone.

It’s a lucrative industry, clearly. And a 1926 bottle of Macallan broke records last year when it sold at auction for £1.2 million — and the market as a whole has risen in value by 582 per cent over the last decade. Read more about the whisky business in the new issue of Gentleman’s Journal.

Blue diamonds are an investor’s best friend

Last year was a positive year for fancy coloured diamonds, with prices stabilising and growing across some markets. And, although most colours saw a slight rise, there was one shade that saw its popularity rise by 12 per cent; blue.

Yellow diamonds dipped slightly in worth, and pink stayed the same, but gems in a blue hue performed particularly strongly — especially if they were vivid and intense in colour.

Furniture is falling in popularity for investors

Furniture has long been a bastion of quality and interest for collectors. But is its appeal starting to wane? Last year, a 1766 Chippendale commode, with ivory inlays and a previous sale price of £935,000 in 1991, failed to sell at a Christie’s auction.

It was a gold standard antique — with that previous sale prices topping all records. But Knight Frank have discovered that the whole sector has dropped in value by 32 per cent over the course of the last decade — so don’t go sinking your money into furniture any time soon.

There are a fifth of a million UHNWIs in the world

2018 saw the world’s UHNWI population reach a new milestone: 200,000. That’s a 4 per cent year-on-year growth. And, what’s more, that number looks to grow by another 22 per cent over the next five years.

In fact, by the end of 2023, some 42,711 are forecasted to see their wealthy rise to over $30 million — approximately the same number of people who’ll cross the line at this year’s London Marathon.

Sports brand Puma has grown in value by 4,000 per cent

When Jochen Zeitz, who is interviewed in the latest edition of the Knight Frank Wealth Report, was appointed CEO of Puma, the German sportswear manufacturer was going nowhere. Today, the company’s share price has boosted by 4,000 per cent.

What’s even more impressive is that Zeitz, one of the world’s most successful and influential businessmen, was only 30 at the time. If you want to follow in his footsteps, take a look at our guide to becoming a millionaire by the time you’re 30.

You should be putting your money into money

After whisky, coins were the fastest-rising investment last year, with these collectables increasing in value by a huge 12 per cent (193 per cent over the course of the last decade).

The best-selling coin? A 1621 Polish gold 100 ducat, sold by the Classic Numismatic Group for $2.2 million.

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