Despite turmoil in the country’s property market last year, China managed to nab more than half the spots in market research consultancy Hurun’s list of the top 100 real estate billionaires in the world.
The most populous nation on earth contributed 52 names to the just-released list, including Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, and his family at No.1 with $33 billion in wealth, research group Hurun announced last week. The US was far behind with 17 entries, followed by the UK with eight and India with six.
Eight of the top 10 names on the list hail from China, including the families behind Hong Kong’s Henderson Land, Wheelock and Chinese Estates and mainland developers Country Garden, Wanda and Longfor. But the average wealth of Chinese listees shrank by 3 percent last year, while that of the Americans shot up 10 percent.
“The threshold for the Hurun Global Real Estate Rich List 2022 was $2.8 billon, and the total wealth of the world’s top 100 entrepreneurs in real estate was $663 billion,” Hurun said.
The 94-year-old Li Ka-shing maintained his paramount position despite a 3 percent drop in wealth in 2021. The tycoon’s two flagship companies, CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings, posted full-year earnings that beat views, aided by asset sales and revaluations on investment properties.
Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau Kee, also 94, placed a distant second with $27 billion after an 8 percent gain in wealth. Rounding out the top six were Country Garden’s Yang Huiyan and family ($26 billion, down 21 percent); Wheelock’s Peter Woo and family ($18 billion, up 38 percent in light of the firm’s surge in value ahead of last year’s privatisation); and Wanda’s Wang Jianlin and family and Longfor’s Wu Lajun and family (both flat at $17 billion).
UK land owner Hugh Grosvenor and American development magnate Donald Bren took the seventh and eight spots, respectively, while Chinese Estates’ Joseph Lau and family and Excellence’s Li Hua placed ninth and 10th.
The world’s biggest loser in terms of real estate wealth was China Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin, who saw his fortune decline from $31 billion to $7.6 billion — still good for No.27 on the global list. Other compatriots saddled with multibillion-dollar losses included the families and individuals behind Shimao, Country Garden, Sunac and Logan Property.
Hong Kong Hangs On
Hong Kong laid claim to the highest number of real estate billionaires with 14, including four in the top 10, Hurun said. Shenzhen, meanwhile, was second with 11, as the Greater Bay Area produced 30 percent of the global top 100.
New York came in third with a total of nine, followed by London (eight) and Beijing (five). Also in the top 10 cities were Guangzhou, Shanghai, Taipei and Chongqing.
Real estate billionaires ranked third on Hurun’s Global Rich List 2022, accounting for 275 entries or 8.1 percent of the total. Healthcare overtook real estate for second place (8.7 percent), while financial services remained in first (9.3 percent).