In this article we presented the Top 10 Real Estate Billionaires in the World. You can skip our detailed analysis of the real estate industry’s outlook for 2021 and go directly to the Top 5 Real Estate Billionaires in the World.
Andrew Carnegie is a US-based industrialist. Sharing his views on property business, he once said, 90 percent of all millionaires made fortune with real estate investment. We agree with this statement because the industry did not cool off even in the pandemic era.
The real estate market makes a major portion of any economy. It is also a critical investment tool for both institutional and individual investors. Owning a property is one-time investment plan. The price of the property and value increases with time. The rented property also offers high profit per year because its price increases each year. This is probably one of the reasons even the laziest realtors can succeed in this career.
In the wake of coronavirus, the real estate industry also saw a downturn in 2020. The global lockdowns and health concerns led to fewer sellers interested in selling their properties and even fewer shoppers wanting to look for new homes.
Despite the grave economic conditions, real estate sales rebounded soon after some months. The Michigan Survey of Consumers shows house buying activities have returned to normal as they had been a year ago. Thanks to the strong planning of the real estate companies like American Tower Corp (NYSE: AMT), Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE: SPG), CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL (NYSE: CCI) and POLOGIS (NYSE: PLD), the real estate sector is now seeing a rebound, with major real estate stocks trading in the red. The estate agents took bold steps to strengthen their relationships with their investors, end users, employees, and other stakeholders.
According to data from Grand View Research, the international real estate market is expected to make a profit of $4,263.7 billion in the next four years. Meaning, realtors will grow richer with time. Companies like American Tower Corp (NYSE: AMT), Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE: SPG), CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL (NYSE: CCI) and POLOGIS (NYSE: PLD) will also see a rebound as companies begin to reopen offices and the rate of rent defaults plummet as people regain their lost jobs.
Let’s now start our list of top real estate billionaires in the world.
Top Real Estate Billionaires in the World
10. Sam Zell
Net Worth: $4.8 billion
One of the pioneers of the real estate market, Sam Zell enjoys a net worth of $4.8 billion as of date. Sam Zell has been into business since he was a youngster. Although he belonged to a sound family, he preferred working hard to make money. He ranks 10th in the list of top real estate billionaires in the world.
Sam’s first venture was purchasing copies of the Playboy magazines in bulk and reselling them for profit. He also imported copies of the magazine in the surrounding areas. Sam calls this experience his first lesson on supply and demand.
In his university days, he started a new endeavor of offering student apartments to well-off students. Their first venture involved 15 houses. He spent a lot of time improving the distraught apartments and make them presentable to his customers. By the time he left the university, he had successfully refurbished 4,000 properties. Two years later, he was able to move forward.
Sam’s story of making larger profits started when he founded his first company, Equity Group Investment, in 1968. His strategy was to purchase undervalued and underrated land and properties in the USA. He would hold them for the long term to make a profit. The company soon expanded its ventures and become popular as Equity International.
Today, Sam Zell owns more than four public companies including the largest real estate residential REIT. Sam Zell is also famous for making the largest deal in the history of real estate back in 2007. He successfully sold his Equity Office to a private property giant, Blackstone in 2008. His REIT now competes with the likes of American Tower Corp (NYSE: AMT), Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE: SPG), CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL (NYSE: CCI) and POLOGIS (NYSE: PLD).
9. Stephen Ross
Net Worth: $7.6 billion
The next real estate tycoon on our list is Stephen Ross, whose net worth stands at $7.6 billion. He started as a developer of affordable housing but kept expanding his investment endeavors. Today, he is the owner of projects like Sunlife Stadium, Miami Dolphins, The Hard Rock Stadium, and The Related Companies. He ranks 10th in the list of richest people who made money investing in real estate. He ranks 9th in the list of top real estate billionaires in the world.
Ross also owns properties in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. Moreover, he owns RSE Ventures and Kangaroo Media/FanVision. RSE Ventures is a private investment company that focuses on technology, media and marketing, sports and entertainment, and food & lifestyle.
8. Sun Hongbin
Net Worth: $9.2 billion
With an estimated net worth of $9.2 billion, Sun Hongbin secures the eighth position on our list of richest people who made money investing in real estate. More interested in making global investments, Sun Hongbin launched the biggest real estate developer company in China, Sunac China Holdings. He ranks 8th in the list of top real estate billionaires in the world.
Sunac China has an interesting history. It was started after Sun Hongbin lost his job with the famous Lenovo Company. For launching his firm, Sun Hongbin had to take a loan from Lenovo‘s founder, Liu Chuanzhi. Sun became really successful in his real estate endeavors and soon he listed Sunac with Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Today, the company develops large to mid-scale building projects and controls the Wanda Group of Hotels. Sunac China Holdings is also investing in several entertainment projects internationally.
7. Donald Bren
Net Worth: $17 billion
The estimated net worth of Donald Bren is $17 billion. Working as a realtor, he invested in a company called Irvine that owned 93,000 acres of property in South Carolina. It was a joint venture that he started with his five partners. He owned more than 34 percent shares initially. But by the year 1996, he became the sole proprietor of the company. He purchased all the shares. He ranks 7th in the list of top real estate billionaires in the world.
In 1958, he requested a bank loan of $10,000 to launch his first company.
One of the most significant accomplishments of Donald Bren is the development of Orange County in the USA. He is praised for starting successful projects for the County.
Today, this real estate king controls 115 million square feet of property in South Carolina besides other properties. These properties include several marines, hotel chains, office buildings, golf courses, more than 30 shopping centers, and many apartment complexes.
Bren also owns a 97 percent share in the Met Life Manhattan building. Outside the USA, he has investment projects running in Spain and Mexico. The billionaire will continue to see his wealth grow as REITs including American Tower Corp (NYSE: AMT), Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE: SPG), CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL (NYSE: CCI) and POLOGIS (NYSE: PLD) are seeing a strong rebound.
6. David & Simon Reuben
Net Worth: $16 – $18 billion
David and Siman Reuben are brothers. These UK-based real estate moguls made a fortune with good a strategy and smart work. Their estimated net worth is somewhere between $18 billion to $16 billion to date.
More than half of their assets are bonds and cash. The Bombay-born brothers have innumerable properties in London that are valued in hundreds of millions.
Initially, the duo invested in the metal and carpet business to save money. In the Russian metal market, they made significant profits that the Russians named them as ‘metal tsars’. However, when the Russian metal industry tanked, the brothers decided to sell out their assets to start real estate investments in London.
Today, the Reuben brothers own many notable properties including the Millbank Tower, the American Express offices, the John Lewis Partnership Cooperation in Victoria, and the Connaught House.
Outside of the UK, the Reuben Brothers have many business ventures in Europe. The billionaires will continue to see their wealth grow on the back of a rebound that is also boosting gains of stocks like American Tower Corp (NYSE: AMT), Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE: SPG), CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL (NYSE: CCI) and POLOGIS (NYSE: PLD).
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Disclosure: None. 10 Richest People Who Made Money Investing in Real Estate is originally published on Insider Monkey.