Zara founder Amancio Ortega, Spain's richest person, expanded his global portfolio of commercial real estate last year, acquiring at least 10 properties across North America and the UK for more than $2 billion.
Other ultrawealthy individuals and their investment firms remained focused on the asset class, which was among the hardest hit by the pandemic and the lasting consequences of remote work, according to Knight Frank’s 2023 Wealth Report.
That’s a stark contrast from institutional investors, who pared their share of the $1.1 trillion market for offices, logistics sites and rental housing as defaults start to mount from higher interest rates in an end of the easy-money era.
Wealthy individuals, family offices and closely held companies took advantage of their smaller debt profiles and lengthier investment horizons to spend a combined $455 billion last year on commercial real estate. They were the most active buyers in the sector annually for the first time, the London-based broker said in the report, released Wednesday.
The total invested on behalf of the world’s rich marked an 8% decline from the previous 12 months, when pent-up demand following COVID-19 lockdowns pushed their property spending to record highs, according to the report. Institutional firms’ volumes fell 28% in the same period.
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