richest generation

It looks like millennials will be able to buy houses after all

But whether you’re a Millennial on the receiving end of that wealth transfer is largely a lottery of birth.

Ultimately, this wealth shift is a result of inheritance from prior generations, largely involving property but also other assets. It will bring “seismic” changes to how wealth is put to use, said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank, in a statement.

The research also showed that affluent young people are less likely to see property or real estate as a way to build wealth in the future.

“The low interest rate environment and impressive growth in house prices over the past 15 years is unlikely to be repeated in the next 15,” Mike Pickett, director of Cazenove Capital, said in the report. There’s evidence, he said, that the following generation, Gen Z, may be more comfortable renting a home, leasing a vehicle and living a subscription lifestyle than prior generations.

North America saw its share of the ultra-wealthy grow the most of any region, rising 7.2% from last year. It was followed by the Middle East, with a 6.2% increase in the super-wealthy; and Africa, which increased by 3.8%. Latin America is the only region to see its population of ultra-wealthy individuals decline, dropping 3.6% from a year ago.

“The improving interest rate outlook, the robust performance of the US economy and a sharp uptick in equity markets helped wealth creation globally,” said Bailey.

This group of uber-wealthy individuals finds property an attractive investment, the report found. About 19% of this group plans to invest in commercial real estate this year, while 22% plans to buy residential property.

Looking ahead, the number of supremely wealth people is expected to increase by 28% over the next five years, according to the report. While the numbers of the super wealthy are expected to grow, that is a much slower pace than the 44% increase in the five-year period ending in 2023.

Between now and 2044 in the US, the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers are expected to hand over the reins of their significant wealth to Millennials, according to The Wealth Report, a periodic report from global property consultant Knight Frank.

The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals — defined as those with a net worth of $30 million or more — was up 4.3% in 2023 from the year before, to 626,619 people globally, according to the report.

Over the next 20 years, $90 trillion worth of assets is expected to move between generations, mostly from older generations, such as Boomers, to Millennials, according to a new wealth report from global property consultancy Knight Frank.

The transfer in wealth will make “affluent millennials the richest generation in history,” according to the report.

Millennials have struggled much more than previous generations to purchase their own homes, thanks to rising debt, high interest rates, and a drop in the housing supply.

And while Millennials’ best chance for wealth may be to simply inherit it, some are better poised to create it for themselves, said Mike Pickett, a director at Cazenove Capital, in the report.

“It goes beyond a simple shift of existing wealth,” Pickett said. “I think the diversity of opportunity to create wealth has also grown — for example, there are YouTubers worth tens of millions. First-generation wealth creation is on the rise, as is the array of entrepreneurial routes to create it.”

The report urges the financial sector to be ready for the influx in monied millennials by offering wealth management “on their wavelength.” This could especially be useful as more millennials try to maintain

The report also revealed that the amount of super rich people has been growing too. The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, which Knight Frank defines as anyone with more than $30 million to their name, increased 44% in the past five years. And in the next five years, Knight Frank expects their numbers to increase 28%, mostly in India and mainland China.

The massive transfer of wealth could have an equally massive impact on society. Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank, believes younger generations will actively seek out greener homes, eco-friendly goods, and sustainable investments. Given their track record, he could be right. Millennials and Gen Z are leading the charge in climate change activism, the Pew Research Center reports. Both are talking more about environmental issues than older adults, taking to social media to mobilize and enact change.

It appears the financial shift is already underway, too. Knight Frank’s research found that 75 percent of millennials expect their wealth to increase in 2024, compared to 53 percent in the baby boomer generation, 56 percent in gen X, and 69 percent in the younger gen Z.

In addition to property, the shares, bonds, and assets previous generations have accumulated will go to millennials. This transfer of equity will make the generation wealthier than all their predecessors .Millennials stand to become the richest generation in history.

However, many millennials have been affected by the economic headwinds created by the 2007 financial crisis, the pandemic, Brexit, and the invasion of Ukraine. Some are riddled with economic anxiety and need to work multiple jobs to pay bills. As such, any influx of cash would likely be spent on buying homes, paying off student loans, creating a pension pot, and building credit. It is also worth pointing out that inheritance is largely determined by a family’s financial status, e.g. those with rich parents stand to gain the most.

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“When the silent generation (born from 1925 to 1945), the baby boomers (1946 to 1964), and the oldest cohort of Generation X (1965 to 1979), die, £2.5 trillion (roughly $3.1 million) in wealth tied up in their homes will be freed up,” the report reads .Millennials stand to become the richest generation in history.

The massive transfer of wealth could have an equally massive impact on society. Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank, believes younger generations will actively seek out greener homes, eco-friendly goods, and sustainable investments. Given their track record, he could be right. Millennials and Gen Z are leading the charge in climate change activism, the Pew Research Center reports. Both are talking more about environmental issues than older adults, taking to social media to mobilize and enact change.

It appears the financial shift is already underway, too. Knight Frank’s research found that 75 percent of millennials expect their wealth to increase in 2024, compared to 53 percent in the baby boomer generation, 56 percent in gen X, and 69 percent in the younger gen Z.

The future is looking slightly brighter—for millennials, at least .Millennials stand to become the richest generation in history.

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