The Guardian has recently written an interesting article looking into billionaire cities, providing an insightful answer to the question on everyone’s mind: could a billionaire actually buy your city? This research was taken from an American real estate company called Redfin who solely looked at the US cities American billionaires could buy.
Now, over on this side of the pond, a loan provider On Stride Financial has dug deep into the UK market to find out exactly how much of a city could £1 billion get the wealthiest Britons.
The research conducted has been performed using calculations and publicly accessible data to estimate the number of households that could be acquired a single billion pound investment. Everyone is used to the rich flaunting their hard-earned wealth on new pads, flash cars and extravagant yachts, but exactly how much wealth does a single person need to buy up an entire city?
Turns out the answer differs per city, as you would expect, as variables such as number of houses and average house price can vary for each location. On Stride Financial has calculated that the cumulative value of the households within most major cities ordered by population size does not exceed £40 billion, with London acting as the outlier, with an overall household value of £1.4 trillion.
So who could buy my city?
We previously mentioned London is estimated at £1.4 trillion. To put this into perspective, an article run by The Independent shows the top 1,000 wealthiest Britons own £518,975 billion. A lot that may be, but should these individuals unite their net worth into a single pot, they would still own only a quarter of the capitals households.
Currently, even the mining magnate Alisher Usmanov (£12.3 billion), labelled the wealthiest resident of the United Kingdom, does not stand a chance to buy the UK second largest city, Birmingham (£40 billion). It is not often we encounter a topic where the likes of the worlds most well-off elite cannot afford to splash the cash; under these circumstances, they are on the same level as most people.
Let’s take a look at five of the most famous wealthy people and see how the super rich fare in buying up tens of thousands of houses, not forgetting that the majority of us will only ever be able to afford one.
1. James Dyson £3 billion: 4,234 houses in Hammersmith
2. The Queen £7.9 billion: 8,475 houses in Westminster
3. Alan Sugar £1 billion: 8,147 houses in Leeds
4. Roman Abramovich £5.6 billion: 4,409 houses in Chelsea
5. Sir Paul McCartney £680 million: 7,441 houses in Liverpool
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