NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Which cities around the world are most important for the world's wealthy?
Knight Frank's Global Cities Survey ranks them below. The survey considers how many ultra-high-net-worth individuals live in each city. These are people with net worth of more than $30 million.
The survey, which is included in The Wealth Report for 2015 from Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank Residential, also asks wealth advisers which cities their clients spend time in for business and pleasure.
Note: City rankings come from Knight Frank's Global Cities Survey. The prime residential changes were tracked by Knight Frank's PIRI Index, which is also the source for how much luxury real estate (apartments only) $1 million will buy in these cities.
Multiple factors drive demand for luxury residential properties in these metropolises. Most importantly, the wealthier are getting wealthier. Between 2013 and 2014 the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, or UHNWIs increased by 3%.
Today the world has 172,850 UHNWIs. Billionaires number 1,844, while there are 17.8 million people with a net worth of more than $1 million.
The wealthy like to invest much of their money in tangible assets that they can own directly: real estate, art, wine, stamps, classic cars and other collectibles.
Main residences and second homes not owned purely as an investment account for 23% of the wealth of UHNWIs. They own an average of three homes. They like to diversify their real estate holdings geographically. More than one-quarter of UHNWIs are thinking of buying an additional house in 2015.
The wealthier people are, the less they feel confined to their countries of birth. They see the world as a network of global cities in which they would like to own residences, live at least part of the year, network, shop, socialize and educate their children.
Over the past 10 years, the U.K., Singapore and the U.S. have gained the wealthiest migrants. China, India and France have lost the most. Among the 10 most important cities, London has been the top recipient of the mobile wealthy. Singapore has seen a strong influx of the wealthy from China, India and Indonesia.