China's luxury homes in demand as three of its cities post world's best gains

A luxury villa in Shanghai, which sold for a record 205 million yuan (S$45.9 million).
A luxury villa in Shanghai, which sold for a record 205 million yuan (S$45.9 million).PHOTO: SHIMAO GROUP

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - China's luxury homes posted the world's biggest price gains last year, with three of the nation's cities catapulting to the top of a ranking tracking 100 locations globally.

Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou rose to the top three slots in Knight Frank's Prime International Residential Index, all posting price gains of more than 26 per cent in 2016. Shanghai climbed two spots to displace Vancouver as the city with the biggest annual gain in prime home values.

"The Asian region has taken the lead in terms of growth of wealthy individuals," said Nicholas Holt, Knight Frank's head of research for Asia Pacific. "China and India will witness the second- and third-largest number of additions to the ranks of ultra high-net worth individuals over the next decade, behind only the US," he said.

The number of Asians with US$30 million in net assets is forecast to almost double over the next decade, Knight Frank said.

The best-performing region was Australia and New Zealand, where luxury home prices rose 11 per cent last year. Auckland was Australasia's top-performing city, with a 16 per cent gain. Sydney and Melbourne posted increases of 9.3 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively, the report showed.