Skip to main content

Hong Kong ranks highest for 'billionaire' properties

By Sophie Brown, for CNN
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 0730 GMT (1530 HKT)
Hong Kong tops Savills index of the world's most expensive luxury real estate. Hong Kong tops Savills index of the world's most expensive luxury real estate.
Top billionaire property No. 1: Hong Kong
Top billionaire property No. 2Tokyo
Top billionaire property No. 3 London
Top billionaire property No. 4 Paris
Top billionaire property No. 5 Moscow
Top billionaire property No. 6 New York
Top billionaire property No. 7 Shanghai
Top billionaire property No. 8 Singpore
Top billionaire property No. 9 Mumbai
Top billionaire property No. 10: Sydney
  • Savills: Real estate values worldwide have doubled in the past seven years
  • Rise due to the emergence of new wealthy classes and rising commodity prices
  • Most growth in ultra-luxury properties happening in Asia Pacific
  • London is one of the few 'old world' real estate markets that is bucking this trend

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Hong Kong's billionaire properties are the most expensive in the world, according to global real estate firm, Savills.

"Ultra-prime" properties in Hong Kong cost £7,200 per square foot ($10,880) on average, Savills said in its latest World Cities Review report, which compares property prices for top luxury homes. Other Asia Pacific cities dominated the ranking, with Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai and Sydney all among the top 10 most expensive cities to buy luxury property in 2012.

Real estate values worldwide doubled in the last seven years, with large increases seen in China and Asia, thanks to the emergence of new wealthy classes and rising commodity prices, the report said. Singapore and Mumbai experienced the highest growth in property prices since 2005, with a growth of 232% and 176%, respectively. Tokyo had the slowest growth at 8%.

"The activity of billionaires in international real estate markets reflects the creation of global wealth and the economic success of particular regions and cities," the report said. "This means that the cities in newly emerged economies have significantly outperformed those in the 'old world' economies of the U.S., Japan, Australia and Europe."

READ MORE: Report: U.S., China dominate global billionaires

China reins in property market
Retail rental space rising in Hong Kong
Russians make waves in UK real estate
The $640,000 parking space

New York stands out among world cities as "particularly good value" for residential properties, "especially from an income return point of view," according to the report. New York has dropped to seventh on the list of most expensive residential real estate cities -- down from fourth in 2005.

"Only London's ultra-prime market stands out among the 'old world' cities as having shown significant growth since 2005, totaling 107%," the report said.

Real estate costs for businesses are cheapest in Mumbai, with Sydney offering the best value for money. "We may well see Sydney becoming an increasingly global city as it proves attractive to new and expanding business on the Pacific Rim," the report said. But restrictions on foreign buyers to purchase homes remain an obstacle, according to Savills.

READ MORE: Report reveals where world's richest live

New tax measures to curb real estate spending have caused slowdowns in markets from Asia to Europe. In 2012, Singapore's growth slowed to 5%, Hong Kong's growth stalled in the second half of the year, and London slowed noticeably in the second half, Savills noted.

Paris saw a drop in billionaire property values, but remains the fourth most expensive city overall for top-end homes, at an average price of £2,900 per square foot ($4,383).

READ MORE: Best place to buy property in Asia

The report also looked at leisure resort areas -- like Cap Ferrat in France, Alibag in India and Phuket, Thailand -- which lag in values compared to urban properties but have the most potential for growth, according to Savills.

"Billionaire activity has been concentrated on high-end urban centers rather than leisure properties in the surrounding countryside or regional sunbelts," said Yolande Barnes, head of world research at Savills. "This reflects a global preference for urban locations as these billionaires need to be located in cities where they can do business."

The highest price for an individual property in the last seven years was recorded in London's Kensington Palace Gardens, where a home sold for £8,500 ($12,850) per square foot in 2008.

READ MORE: What city has world's best quality of life?

Part of complete coverage on
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1537 GMT (2337 HKT)
Cyprus, the tiny Mediterranean island bailed a year ago, is starting to rebuild itself, the finance minister tells CNN.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1157 GMT (1957 HKT)
Mobile World Congress spans the full spectrum of untethered gadgetry Explore this year's top trends with Stuff Magazine Editor Will Findlater.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)
CNN's John Defterios says India's election race will likely boil down to three simple numbers: growth, inflation and interest rates.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
More than a million Londoners live in flatshares. And while this used to be associated with students, more mature people find themselves sharing.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1050 GMT (1850 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits Baselworld the world's most prestigious event for top jewelry and watch brands.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Will Xi Jinping's historic visit to the European Union headquarters help the Chinese leader get what he needs from the EU?
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
Binnaz Saktanber says many feel trapped between their brains, telling them to leave Turkey, and hearts, which tell them to stay.
April 1, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
"I thought I'd sold it," says Norwegian man who left luxury boat in marina two years -- with keys tied to railings. What happened?
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
The United Kingdom is champagne's biggest export market. CNN's Isa Soares reports on what's driving sales.
March 26, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
"Sorry, I don't go south of the river," was once a common refrain from London taxi drivers. Not anymore. South London is booming.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1834 GMT (0234 HKT)
The list of Russians targeted by Western sanctions includes people from Vladimir Putin's inner circle -- including his judo sparring partner.
March 25, 2014 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
Her passion for public speaking and networking have earned Julia Hobsbawm the moniker "queen of networking." What is her secret?
Google Glass is trying to shed its public relations problem of a nerdy image by teaming up with the company behind Ray-Bans and Oakley sunglasses.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1337 GMT (2137 HKT)
European leaders are meeting in Brussels to discuss further sanctions against Russia. But they are likely to be cautious. Here is why.