The super-rich just got richer, and all they had to do was sit tight
The Estates Gazette Rich List 2010 indicates that the UK’s 250 richest real-estate investors are worth a combined £3 billion more than they were last year, thanks to a turnaround in commercial property prices.
Nearly £30 billion was wiped off the holdings of the richest 250 investors between 2007 and 2009, when their combined fortunes hit a low of £69 billion. However, according to Estates Gazette, real estate’s richest are now benefiting from the recovery in commercial property values that began in the third quarter of last year.
Julia Cahill, the list’s editor, said: “Property’s elite have been battered by the credit crunch and recession, but the latest list shows the resilience of fortunes built on good-quality assets, which are now recovering their lost value.”
Britain’s oldest landowning families have emerged from the recession the quickest, thanks in part to the resilience of the capital’s property market. The sixth Duke of Westminster remains the UK’s richest landlord, with holdings of £5.8 billion. The value of the assets of his property company Grosvenor Group, which include swaths of Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge, has risen by £300 million over the past 12 months.
Other important London landowners, including Earl Cadogan and family and Baroness Howard de Walden and family, are among the top ten wealthiest investors and have seen significant rises in the value of their assets. Yet the canny arrivistes of the property world have also fared well. David and Simon Reuben, who first made their fortune in Russia in the 1990s, sit at No 2 in the rich list and increased their net worth by £2.1 billion to £5.4 billion this year.
Another set of brothers, Ian and Richard Livingstone, whose London & Regional owns 60 worldwide hotels and a string of health clubs, including the upmarket David Lloyd Leisure, increased their net worth by £250 million to £1.65 billion.
The richest woman on the list is Baroness Howard de Walden, who comes in at No 9.