BUSINESS

Report – NBC New York

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What to Know

  • New York City is the wealthiest city in the world with the most millionaires, according to a new study.
  • NYC has the most expensive real estate with the highest average square meter price of $28,400 per square meter for a prime apartment.
  • An increase of Americans are seeking second passports or alternative residences outside of the U.S. post-pandemic.

The energy of New York City is often unmatched by its counterparts and, apparently, so is its millionaire status, according to a new nationwide analysis.

The study compares U.S. wealth in major cities over the last decade starting in December 2013. It was conducted by Henley & Partners, an international firm that focuses on residence and citizenship by investment.

Based on the report, NYC is the wealthiest city in the world with upwards of 349,000 millionaires and more than 700 centi-millionaires, or individuals who own investable assets over $100 million.

Andrew Amoils is the head of research at New World Wealth, a global data intelligence partner to the firm. “The past few years have been pretty static in NYC so most of the wealth growth occurred pre-COVID from 2013 to 2019,” Amoils told NBC New York.

The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston follow New York as the five richest U.S. cities. Amoils further noted that the “total wealth held by NYC residents exceeds $3 trillion — higher than that held in most major G20 countries.”

The Big Apple takes the cake with real estate, owning the highest average square meter price of a prime 200 to 400-square-meter apartment — a whopping $28,400 per square meter.

Judi Galst, the managing director of private clients at Henley & Partners for the New York City area, has seen an increase in New Yorkers seeking alternative residences outside of the U.S., a new trend in the firm’s 25-year history with emerging markets.

“In the last four years, we’ve actually seen a surge of interest coming from U.S. citizens about investment migration,” said Galst, who attributes this to a post-pandemic world where Americans take certain precautions by diversifying their risk and obtaining a second passport or alternative residence.

Galst notes the firm saw an over 220% increase in inquiries coming from the U.S. in 2020, a time when Henley & Partners did not even have an office in the country. As interest has only increased, Galst says the firm is experiencing more U.S. citizens seeking an alternative residence or second passport than any other single nationality.

The reasons stem from the aftermath of the pandemic, but Galst believes the strongest driver is residents seeking a “Plan B” with no interest in truly leaving the U.S. for extended periods. She says her clients, politically on both sides, are concerned about the presidential election, social issues, such as antisemitism, and another mass health crisis.

While individual client goals and portfolios range, Americans generally gravitate toward the Caribbean or Europe with investment migration, Galst said.

Even though NYC may be the most affluent, the boroughs may not necessarily be the best place for most New Yorkers. According to another recent study, only one neighborhood in the boroughs made the top 10 for “Best Places to Live in the New York City Area” by Niche.

In that separate survey, the Long Island suburb Great Neck Plaza led first, followed by Ho-Ho-Kus in New Jersey and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan hit the number three spot.

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