Miami among top global cities for the ultra-wealthy to work and play

Miami among top global cities for the ultra-wealthy to work and play

MARCH 18, 2015 • Super-wealthy individuals don’t have to live in Miami to spend a great deal of time there. So says Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report, which identified Miami as one of the most important cities in the world for the über-rich.

The “importance” of a city may at first seem hard to quantify, but the London-based real estate consultancy defines the relative importance of a city by its business links, economic activity and lifestyle offerings. The world’s Top 40 cities are those “where the wealthy congregate, work, invest, are educated and spend their leisure time,” the report says.

South Florida is already home to the most billionaires in the state, with 28 of the Sunshine State’s 42 billionaires calling the tri-county area home. But when it comes to Miami, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the state’s super rich all live there, just that they like to work, play and visit the city.

What makes an über-wealthy individual? They’re not the average millionaire. To qualify, an individual needs $30 million or more in assets.

London is the most important city in the world for the super rich, followed by New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. Rounding out the Top 10 are Miami, Paris, Dubai, Beijing and Zurich.

That Top 10 will remain consistent through 2025, although there will be some movement within the group. Miami will drop to seventh, and New York will surpass London as the most important city in the world for the ultra-rich, the study projects.

While Miami is a destination for the super rich to work, play and perhaps keep a secondary residence, the über-wealthy are more likely to keep their main residence in cities like London, Tokyo, Singapore and New York.

The study also found that Miami is one of the most expensive cities in the world for prime residential real estate. The city comes in 11th in the world for the most expensive real estate based on apartments based on the amount of luxury space $1 million will buy. In Miami, $1 million buys on average 59 meters, or 635 square feet. The most expensive? Monaco, where $1 million snares 17 square meters of luxury property, or just under 183 square feet.

It also turns out that the ultra-rich love to take private jets in or out of Miami, says the study. The Miami-to-New York route had the second most private jet traffic in 2013. West Palm Beach also made the Top 10 list, with New York-to-West Palm Beach the fourth most popular route in 2013.