Who are the wealthiest property owners in the UK?

Who are the wealthiest property owners in the UK?

By Property News Team

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The Sunday Times Rich List reveals the fortunes of the richest people in the country. Now we've crunched the data to reveal the top 50 prospering from investment in property.

This year’s Sunday Times Rich List lays bare the mind-boggling fortunes of Britain’s 1,000 wealthiest people.

It includes a staggering 145 billionaires and uncovers total wealth of £724bn - up 10% on 2017. We’ve trawled through this huge work to find out how many of the UK’s super rich owe their estate to the world of home buying and property.

Our list of 50 names includes aristocrats such as the Duke of Westminster, some of the big names of the mortgage industry, and seasoned property developers.

“At least one in six people on this year’s Sunday Times Rich List owes their wealth to property or the world of home ownership in some way,” says Robert Watts, who compiles The Sunday Times Rich list each year.

“Increasingly the list is dominated by self-made people, making their money from often surprising things, like chocolate, tonic water food or even sushi.

“But savvy real estate investments are often where the rich transform themselves into super rich. Lord Sugar made his name selling computers, but the Apprentice star would not be a billionaire were it not for his skilful London property deals.”

The only criteria to make our list, below, is to have a strong link with property, so this includes developers, landed gentry, estate agents, those who make money from furnishing our homes, and others who earn their crust from insurance policies that cover our property and its contents.

It takes £770million just to scrape into the top 50, meaning the Queen isn’t rich enough to make the cut despite owning sumptuous homes such as Balmoral and Sandringham House. 

Above: This three-bedroom flat in Westminster, London overlooks Buckingham Palace. It's up for sale at £18m, which is small change for the people on this list.

1. David and Simon Reuben, £15.096bn

These India-born brothers initially made their money from aluminium, but poured their fortune into London’s booming property market. They own a mass of top-end real estate in the capital including Westminster’s Millbank Tower and John Lewis’s head office, near Victoria Station. They also have prime sites in Mayfair, Kensington and the West End - including the former premises of the Naval and Military Club, which they are now turning into a luxury hotel. Now in their late 70s, the pair were last year tipped as potential buyers for Newcastle United Football Club.

2. The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family, £9.964bn

The 7th Duke inherited his title on the death of his father two years ago - and with it oversight of 300 acres of Belgravia and Mayfair. He and his family also own land and property in Oxford, Cheshire, Scotland and Spain. Other assets include nearly 165,000 acres of rural land, a dairy farm and the UK’s largest bull stud operation.

3. Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, £7.4bn

Best known for owning London’s exclusive Ritz Hotel and the Telegraph newspaper, the Channel Island-based twins also own the massive retail operation Shop Direct. The Barclays made more than £2bn from the sale of the Maybourne Group of hotels - which included the world famous Claridge’s. They live in a gothic castle on the Channel Island of Brecqhou.

4. Earl Cadogan and family, £6.7bn

The Cadogan family have owned nearly 100 acres of Chelsea and Kensington for 300 years. Almost 50% of the £6bn portfolio is retail space, mostly around the chichi shopping destinations of Sloane Square and the King’s Road. The rental income at the family’s main business grew by 10% to £142.7m in 2016.

Above: A two-bedroom flat for £1.5m above the shops on the famous King's Road in Chelsea. The Earl of Cadogan and his family own much of the retail space here and in Sloane Square.

5. Sir Henry Keswick and family, £4.782bn

Hong Kong conglomerate Jardine Matheson has interests ranging from property and hotels to food and cars. Much of its wealth stems from its operations in China and it has a £35.2bn value on the stock market. The Keswicks have a holding worth nearly £4.7bn.

6. John Grayken, £4.763bn

This American investor is pouring money into an area near Wembley Stadium. His Quintain property company has plans for 7,000 homes and London’s biggest Boxpark – a foodie heaven selling dozens of different delicacies from around the world. Grayken also owns a $35m penthouse in his home town of Boston, Massachusetts.

7. Baroness Howard de Walden and family, £4.015bn

A 92-acre estate of Marylebone has been in the de Walden family since 1879. Their tenants include much of Harley Street’s private medical community and chichi shops on Marylebone High Street. Sixty members of the de Walden family own stakes in the main company. 

8. Ian and Richard Livingstone, £3.8bn

After selling a chain of opticians, these two brothers went into property development. Their recent ventures have included some eye-catching Hollywood homes and a £6bn development in Panama. They also own hotels in London, Ibiza, Barbados and Monte Carlo. 

9. Eddie and Sol Zakay, £3.42bn

Student accommodation is the next investment for the Zakays, who have won approval for a £100m scheme in Wembley. The pair made their money from dozens of property deals with Tesco, Marks & Spencer and other retailers. The Israeli-born brothers also own hotels. 

Wembley Stadium at night

Above: Wembley is proving a popular location with billionaire property developers, as both John Grayken and the Zakays are investing in the area.

10. Mark Pears and family, £3.245bn

The Pears’ £6bn property portfolio is said to house 1% of the UK’s workforce. Rising rents and the £10m sale of a Bloomsbury property have increased their wealth over the past year. Members of the family are understood to have made $100m from the stockmarket float of Facebook. 

11. Samuel Tak Lee and family, £3.037bn

This Hong Kong billionaire owns a big stake in property company Shaftesbury, which owns a large part of London’s Carnaby Street and Chinatown.  

12. Richard Desmond, £2.6bn

After selling Express Newspapers, Desmond is hoping to win the National Lottery franchise. He has been involved in property developments worth around £1bn. 

13. Teddy Sagi, £2.6bn

The Israeli gaming entrepreneur owns London’s Camden Market and recently bought the capital’s Bupa House for £70m. 

14. John Whittaker and family, £2.25bn

A Lancashire-born property mogul, Whittaker has overseen vast developments across the North West and owns a big chunk of retail park business Intu.   

15. Viscount Portman and family, £2.002bn

The Portmans own 110 acres of London real estate in central London and 500 residential properties. 

READ MORE: How to invest in property without buying a house

16. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, £2bn

This Qatari investor was one of the main backers of the Candy Brothers’ One Hyde Park development – where apartment prices started at £20m.  

17. The Lazari family, £2bn

This Greek Cypriot family own 2.8m square feet of commercial real estate and 113 residential properties, mostly in London.  

18. John Bloor, £1.858bn 

A former plasterer from Derbyshire, Bloor made a fortune from housebuilding and has also revived the Triumph motorbike brand. 

New homes in Prestbury

Above: A new development by Bloor Homes, which is owned by John Bloor and is one of the largest privately owned house builders in the UK.

19. Benzion Freshwater and family, £1.615bn 

Son of a refugee who fled the Nazis, the Freshwater family own Africa House and a huge portfolio of other London properties.  

20. Eddie and Malcolm Healey, £1.48bn

Yorkshire’s richest residents, these brothers built fortunes from kitchen businesses such as Hygena as well as Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre and other big developments.  

READ MORE: When could your home be worth £1million?**Find out now with our £1m Property Calculator**

21. Poju and Anita Zabludowicz, £1.5bn 

The North London-based couple have a vast art collection, as well as large hotel and property assets.  

22. John Christodoulou, £1.5bn 

After quitting his Cyprus homeland after the Turkish invasion, this former estate agent has built a property empire with big holdings in Canary Wharf and Islington.  

23. Wafic Said, £1.42bn 

This Syrian-born entrepreneur bought a £48m building in London earlier this year as part of his mission to forge a $1bn property empire – a third of which will be in the UK.   

24. Lord Sugar, £1.3bn 

The Apprentice tycoon started out selling electronics kit and computers, but rose to billionaire status because of smart London property deals in Mayfair and the City.   

Above: Contestants on last year's The Apprentice were able to live like Lord Sugar while they competed to become his business partner.

25. Jon Hunt, £1.4bn

The founder of estate agents Foxtons owns a Suffolk estate, £600m of commercial property and a £100m Kensington home.  

26. Raj, Tony and Harpal Matharu and family, £1.3bn 

These siblings own 16 hotels in London and one in Berkshire – introducing innovations such as women-only wings.  

27. Simon Nixon, £1.25bn 

Started Moneysupermarket.com and owns a £310m real estate portfolio, with homes in LA, Mallorca and London.    

28. Tony Murray and family, £1.225bn

This 98-year-old entrepreneur has a £400m hotel portfolio – and is the oldest person on The Sunday Times’ list.   

29. Will Adderley and family, £1.2bn

The Adderleys built up the home furnishings giant Dunelm from a Leicester market stall.  

30. Christina Ong and family, £1.2bn 

Ong owns a large collection of hotels with her husband, as well as a controlling stake in the Mulberry fashion brand. 

31. Lord Kirkham, £1.15bn

Doncaster-born furniture entrepreneur founded DFS and has a new venture: Fabb Sofas.  

32. Henning Conle, £1.142bn 

This German family owns a mass of London property including the £610m Shell-Mex House.  

33. David Sullivan, £1.1bn 

The joint-chairman and largest shareholder of West Ham United Football Club, Sullivan also has property companies with £508m assets.  

34. Jasminder Singh and family, £1.064bn 

Singh owns 12 hotels and plans to open another at Leicester Square with 350 rooms.   

35. Lord Edmiston, £1.04bn

Turned a £6,000 redundancy cheque into a big car importing company and then diversified into property.  

36. Henry Moser and family, £1.01bn

Ditched his car sales business for finance and now owns the Manchester-based mortgage lender Together.   


](/for-sale/details/47107774)_Above: Mayfair is popular with property moguls, with several of the wealthiest property owners on the Rich List having invested in the luxurious enclave. This three-bedroom mews house in Mayfair is up for grabs at almost £3.5m.**

37=. Trevor Hemmings, £1bn

The 82-year-old entrepreneur owns 8m square feet of industrial and business parks, plus other property assets.  

37=. Jim Melon, £1bn 

The investment guru is one of the biggest landowners on the Isle of Man and also owns property in Germany.  

39. Mark Dixon, £975m 

After flipping burgers for a living, Dixon set up serviced office business Regus – now renamed IWG and worth £2.5bn. 

40. Steve Morgan, £942m 

Liverpool-born entrepreneur set up massive housebuilder Redrow and once owned Wolverhampton Wanderers.  

How well do you know the property market? test your knowledge by playing our just-for-fun Property Price Game.



41. Tony Gallagher, £925m 

The Midlands developer sold his land business for £525m last year and is now building 8,500 homes at Northstowe, near Cambridge.  

42. The Earl of Iveagh and the Guinness family, £922m 

Better known as Ned Guinness, the Earl oversees the 22,500-acre Elveden Estate in Suffolk.  

43. Peter Jones and family, £900m 

This former carpenter owns a Cheshire housebuilding firm with £871m of net assets.  

44. Douw Steyn, £900m

Owns Meerkat-fronted website Comparethemarket.com, a £63m London property and a South African residential estate four-times the size of Monaco.  

45. Yelena Baturina, £882m

Russia’s richest woman lives in London and has a 13,600-acre Hampshire estate as well as homes in Moscow, Spain and Austria. 

READ MORE: Find out how much you can afford for a home loan with our partners, Money.co.uk

46. Duke of Devonshire, £880m 

Owns the 300-room Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and 75,000 acres of land.  

47. Luke and Brian Comer, £800m 

The brothers started out as plasterers before building a property empire across Ireland, Germany and the UK. 

48. Peter Harris and family, £800m 

Owns the Butlins holiday group as well as hotels and other properties. 

49. Lev Leviev, £778m.

Diamond dealer who has a £35m home in London’s Highgate.  

50. Paul Sykes, £770m. 

Former tyre fitter who changed track to property and also developed Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre.

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