Canada set for top 3 growth in ultra-wealthy says new report

Knight Frank's Wealth Report 2020 reveals the markets where wealth is growing fastest – and why handbags are a good investment

Canada set for top 3 growth in ultra-wealthy says new report
Steve Randall

The world saw an additional 39,000 ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNWIs) in 2019 and by 2024 there will likely be almost 650,000 people worth at least $30 million – up 27% from 2020.

The Knight Frank Wealth Report 2020 reveals that North America has the largest number of ultra-wealthy people at 249,900 with 110,846 in Europe, and 103,335 in Asia.

But growth rates between 2019 and 2024 are expected to be led by Asia at 44% followed by Africa (32%) and Australasia (30%). The largest percentage gain in Asia will be India (73%) compared to 58% for Mainland China, although India is not yet in the top 10 for UHNWI population.

North American growth in the ultra-wealthy will be 22% over that period, weaker than Europe (23%), and Russia & CIS (23%).

“It’s exciting to see how wealth is developing across Asia and, with the number of ultra-wealthy in India, Vietnam, Chinese Mainland and Malaysia outpacing many other markets over the next five years, it will be interesting to see how this impacts the global property market,” said Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at Knight Frank. “With property accounting for a large proportion of total UHNWI wealth – almost a third, according to the Knight Frank Attitudes Survey – it will be fascinating to see where in the world the wealthy invest and into which asset classes.” 

Canadian HNWIs
There were 9,325 HNWIs in Canada in 2019 which means the country is 8th in the world.

The US leads with 240,575 while the top 10 also includes Mainland China, Germany, France, Japan, UK, Italy, Russia, and Switzerland.

Canada is predicted to see strong growth through to 2024 though with a 27.9% increase in ultra-wealthy individuals compared to 21.8% in the US. Canada is in the top 3 for percentage increase behind Mainland China (57.6%) and the UK (31%).

Handbags are top investment

As part of the Wealth Report, the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index reveals that new entrant ‘Collectable Handbags’ is the top investment, rising in value by 13% over the 12 months to Q4 2019, knocking rare whisky off its number one position.

“It’s only been possible to create an index on handbags now because of the frequency with which many iconic pieces are coming to auction today,” explained Sebastian Duthy, Director, Art Market Research. “Although bags made by other luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton are also highly collectable, it is those made by Hermès that attract the highest prices and are considered the most desirable.”