A new report reveals the 17 most popular housing markets for the world's richest people, and a notoriously expensive city is missing from the list

zhangyuqiu/ShutterstockHong Kong takes the trophy for the highest sales prices.
  • London-based real-estate consultancy Knight Frank released a report revealing the world’s “ultra-prime residential markets” for 2019.
  • The locations are divided into three segments: Cities,ski destinations, and second-home markets.
  • US cities New York, Los Angeles, and Miami appear on the list, while notoriously pricey San Francisco is notably absent.

To clinch a spot on Knight Frank’s latest list of the world’s “ultra-prime” real-estate markets, a city had to have at least three home-sale transactions over $US25 million every year since 2015.

Just 17 places made the cut, and the notoriously pricey city of San Francisco wasn’t one of them.

Despite it having the highest median home price of any city in the United States, as Curbed LA’s Elijah Chiland pointed out, San Francisco simply isn’t the site of many multi-million dollar sales. In fact, the most expensive home ever sold rang in at $US38 million. The current record sale in Hong Kong is $US360 million.

Knight Frank analysed sales data and concluded that London takes the top spot for the sheer number of transactions above $US25 million since August 2015 – 161 total. Hong Kong, meanwhile, takes the trophy for the most expensive of the ultra-prime markets; for purchases above $US25 million, the city saw an average sale price of $US54 million over three years.

In total, nearly half of the markets were categorized as cities, five represent second-home markets, and four are prime ski destinations (three in the Alps and just one in the US).

Below, check out the world’s 17 top-tier real-estate markets.

Hong Kong

Inside the Hong Kong billionaire enclave name-dropped in ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ where Alibaba founder Jack Ma may have bought a $US191 million mansion »

London, England

Alexey Fedorenko/Shutterstock

The 9 most expensive streets in the UK, where you need more than $US15 million to buy a house »

New York, New York

T photography/Shutterstock

The most expensive New York City neighbourhoods in 2018, ranked »


Prasit Rodphan/Shutterstock

I visited Singapore, the outlandishly wealthy setting of ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ and was surprised by how much fun you can have even without billions »

Sydney, Australia

Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock

The mega rich are bailing out of Britain in the thousands, and many are moving to Australia »

Los Angeles, California


This $US245 million Los Angeles mansion is the most expensive home for sale in the US – and it costs 960 times more than a typical US home »

Miami, Florida


Tour the most expensive zip code in Florida – the mysterious members-only island where millionaires pay $US250,000 for access »

Paris, France

Zheltikov Dmitry/Shutterstock

23 photos that will make you want to travel to Paris »

Malibu, California

Tanza Loudenback/Business Insider

After a decades-long legal battle, beachgoers can stroll through billionaires’ backyards on a 1.5 mile stretch of sand in Malibu »

Palm Beach and Broward County, Florida


This relatively unknown town in Florida has become a horse ‘Disneyland’ for the richest of the rich – including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs’ offspring »



What it’s like living in Monaco, the glamorous city-state on the French Riviera that’s home to a glitzy annual yacht show and where an estimated 1 in 3 people is a millionaire »

Cote d’Azur, France

Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Inside Picasso’s stunning €20.2 million Côte d’Azur mansion, complete with infinity pool, spa, orangery, and 5,000-bottle wine cellar »

The Caribbean

The 25 best Caribbean islands, ranked »

Aspen, Colorado


This Colorado ski resort is open to just 13 members who pay upwards of $US2.8 million for private access to 1,750 acres of untouched powder »

Gstaad, Switzerland


An exclusive look inside the world’s most expensive school, where tuition fees are more than £87,000 a year »

Courchevel, France


18 mountains that celebrities and business moguls love to ski »

St. Moritz, Switzerland


What it’s like to vacation in St. Moritz, the hidden gem in the Swiss Alps where celebrities, billionaires, and royalty go to ski »

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