> Estimated rank in 10 years: 5
> Avg. prime property price: $2,400/sq. ft. (13th most)
> Population: 4,836,691 (60th most)
Singapore is considered to have the second-highest quality of life. It ranks fifth-highest in economic activity, eighth-highest in knowledge and influence and eleventh-highest in political power. Singapore also is listed among the cities growing fastest in importance. The city currently has the largest GDP per capita in the world at $56,532 per person. It is expected to maintain this position through 2050. According to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore is one of the most competitive cities in the world, along with New York and London.
4. Paris, France
> Estimated rank in 10 years: 7
> Avg. prime property price: $2,500/sq. ft. (11th most)
> Population: 10,485,263 (21st most)
Paris performs fairly well in all leadership categories considered by The Wealth Report. The city also has the 11th-most expensive prime property values. According to the report, Paris has long been a popular center for real estate investments by foreigners. Since 2009, prime office rentals have increased by 17%. The city is also a major destination for business and tourism. In 10 years, however, the city is expected to fall behind Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore in importance.
3. Hong Kong
> Estimated rank in 10 years: 6
> Avg. prime property price: $4,400/sq. ft. (4th most)
> Population: 7,069,378 (38th most)
Hong Kong is seen as one of the world’s most important economic centers. At $45,301, it has the world’s fourth-largest GDP per capita and is expected to have the second-largest GDP per capita by 2050. Hong Kong is also very highly rated in the quality of life and knowledge and influence categories. The average price per square foot in the city is the fourth-highest for houses and the 10th-highest for apartments.
2. New York, United States
> Estimated rank in 10 years: 2
> Avg. prime property price: $2,200/sq. ft. (Manhattan) (17th most)
> Population: 19,425,069 (New York-Newark) (6th most)
New York is ranked second in both the economic activity and knowledge and influence categories. It is ranked third in the quality of life and political power categories. In 10 years, the city is expected to remain as the second-most important city. David Adam, managing director at Global Cities, notes in The Wealth Report that New York’s ability to attract a significant foreign workforce will keep it on top.
1. London, England
> Estimated rank in 10 years: 1
> Avg. prime property price: $4,500/sq. ft. (3rd most)
> Population: 8,631,325 (30th most)
London, which is one of the world’s top financial centers, is considered the most important city by high-net-worth individuals — and by a significant margin. It ranks the highest in economic activity, knowledge and influence, and quality of life categories. It is second in political power, behind only Washington, D.C. The city has an abundant supply of luxury housing, top-tier educational opportunities and a large population of the ultra-wealthy — all characteristics that appeal to the rich. Despite competition from emerging Asian nations, London is expected to maintain its top position for the next 10 years.
Charles B. Stockdale