The geniuses at national real estate brokerage Redfin recently conducted an analysis of some of the wealthiest people in the U.S. to see just how many homes they could afford to buy.
In many cases, these billionaires could buy all of the homes in an entire city. Bill Gates, for example, has a net worth of more than $US77.5 billion and could theoretically afford to buy all 114,212 homes in Boston. The city’s homes are valued at a total of $US76.6 billion.
Redfin’s economists determined the total value by looking at all home sales between April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2014. Those sales were used as a representative sample of all homes in a city.
Several other tech billionaires could afford to buy entire cities, including Google CEO Larry Page, who could buy all 99,964 homes in Boca Raton, Florida, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who could buy all 139,124 homes in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Redfin created this map of the cities that these billionaires could theoretically buy with their wealth. For super-rich families like the Waltons and the Koch brothers, the study assumed they would pool their wealth together to purchase a city. The values depicted represent the total value of all homes in a particular city.
The study was conducted on a total of 30 billionaires drawn from Forbes’ 400 Wealthiest list.
“In this fictional real estate investment, the 30 billionaires on our list, with a combined fortune of $US582 billion, could afford to own a staggering 6 per cent of the total U.S. home equity,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said in a blog post.
You can see all 30 in the table below, along with the U.S. cities they could afford to buy if they so desired.