World’s Top 20 Richest Real Estate Tycoons in 2016

Despite the uncertainty roiling global financial markets, the real estate barons of the world are doing relatively well in 2016. Twenty-two people made the FORBES Billionaires List for the first time this year thanks to their real estate holdings, bringing the total number of the property-rich on the Forbes list to a whopping 184.

The majority of these uber-wealthy folks (we’re counting those who owe at least part of their fortunes to real estate) hail from the Asia-Pacific region, which boasts a collective 99 billionaires. Of that total, 42 are from China, 25 from Hong Kong, seven from India and six from Singapore.

The United States, with 44 billionaires, boasts the most property tycoons of any nation in the world. On a regional basis, Europe is far behind Asia and the U.S. with 31 billionaires, while the Middle East and Africa have a combined eight real estate billionaires.

Notably, the fortunes of 50 Asian tycoons–half of those from that region–dropped year-over-year compared to 2015. Twenty-four, or about a quarter of the total, saw their fortunes rise, while nine were flat year-over-year. Twelve people in the Asian-Pacific nations joined the Billionaires List for the first time while four returned to it. Every single one of the new billionaires and returnees in Asia were from China or Hong Kong.

How have these tycoons managed to claw back onto the list or join it for the first time despite the headline volatility in the region?  In part, because China’s economy is still growing. “China is definitely slowing down, but you’re going from double-digit growth to 6.5%,” says Nicholas Holt, head of Asia Pacific research for Knight Frank, the global real estate consultancy. This year China’s growth target is 6%-7%. Whether that’s realistic is uncertain, but compared to the 2.4% GDP growth the U.S. welcomed in 2015, that target doesn’t look bad.

Here is the Top 20 real estate tycoons in the world:

Billionaire Wang Jianlin, chairman and president of Dalian Wanda Group, poses for a portrait at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Of The New Champions in Dalian, China, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Wang, China's richest man and owner of the country's biggest commercial land developer, said he has hired two investment banks to buy hotel management companies, mostly in the U.S. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wang Jianlin

 Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest Real Estate Developer

Net Worth: $28.7 Billion




Lee Shau Kee

Hong Kong-based real estate tycoon and majority owner of Henderson Land Development

Net Worth: $21.5 Billion




Michael Otto

Head of German Otto Group, World’s largest Mail Order Company

Net Worth: $18.1 Billion




Donald L Bren

American Businessman, Owner of the Irvine Company, a US real estate investment company.

Net Worth: $15.1 Billion




David & Simon Reuben

British Businessmen in Private Equity, Real Estate Investment and Development, and Venture Capital

Net Worth: $14.4 Billion




Joseph Lau

Hong Kong billionaire and Real Estate Investor who owns a 61% stake in Chinese Estates Holdings

Net Worth: $13.1 Billion




Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor

6th Duke of Westminster and Britain’s wealthiest landowner

Net Worth: $13 Billion




Thomas & Raymond Kwok

Directors (Brothers) of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Largest Property Developer in Hong Kong

Net Worth: $13 Billion



<> at Sun Life Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

Stephen M Ross

Owner of The Related Companies, a US global real estate development firm

New Worth: $12 Billion




Robert Kuok

A Malaysian Chinese Business Magnate and Investor

Net Worth: $10 Billion




Andrew Beal

an American banker, businessman, investor, poker player, and amateur mathematician

Net Worth: $9.4 Billion




Hui Ka Yan

Owner and Founder of Evergrande Real Estate Group, China

Net Worth: $8.6 Billion




Eyal Ofer

an Israeli shipping and Real Estate Entrepreneur in Monaco

Net Worth: $8.4 Billion




Stan Kroenke

American Business Entrepreneur

Net Worth: $7.7 Billion




Robert & Philip Ng

Owners (brothers) of Far East Organization, Singapore’s largest Private Property Developer

Net Worth: $7.6 Billion




Peter Woo

Hong Kong businessman, chairman of Wheelock and Company Limited and The Wharf Holdings Limited

Net Worth: $6.6 Billion




Walter Kwok

Chairman of Hong Kong based company – Empire Group Holdings

Net Worth: $6.2 Billion




Mikhail Gutseriev

a Russian Entrepreneur, Businessman and Poet

Net Worth: $5.9 Billion




Richard LeFrak

Chairman and CEO of LeFrak, family-run company based in New York City that owns, develops, and manages real estate. He is one of the biggest landlords in the NY tri-state area

Net Worth: $5.9 Billion



--FILE--Pan Sutong, chairman of Goldin Financial Holdings Limited, watches a polo match during the Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup 2013 in Tianjin, China, 2 October 2013. Pan Sutong made $22 billion this year and then lost most of it. He says he doesn't care. The little-known electronics and property tycoon, who is based in Hong Kong, had jumped to number four on Bloomberg's Asia wealth ranking last week as shares in his companies Goldin Financial Holdings Ltd. and Goldin Properties Holdings Ltd. surged more than 350 percent. In that period, his wealth expanded faster than Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, whose net worth climbed by $8.2 billion, and Li Ka-shing, who was up $4.6 billion. Then on Wednesday (20 May 2015), Li Hejun's Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. lost $19 billion in less than half an hour, spooking the market. In two days, the Goldin twins have lost about $21 billion combined. Welcome to the world of Chinese share trading. An enquiry by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission in March into Goldin Financial revealed that, apart from Pan's 70.29 percent stake, another 19 unnamed shareholders held 28.29 percent of the company. Pan says he has no idea who they are.

Pan Sutong

Chairman of Goldin Real Estate Financial Holdings Limited, Hong Kong

Net Worth: $5.9 Billion




Source: Forbes

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