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20th Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Highlights from latest wealth report

Henley & Partners’ New World Wealth Report 2022 reveals Africa’s most affluent cities and the increased popularity of lifestyle estates


The Henley & Partners Wealth Report 2022 recently reviewed the wealthiest cities in Africa by total private wealth. “Total private wealth” refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city, including all their assets (property, cash, equities and business interests) less any liabilities. Africa’s two wealthiest cities are in SA with Johannesburg the wealthiest, with total private wealth of $239bn and Cape Town in second place with total private wealth of $131bn.


  1. Johannesburg: Most of the city’s HNWI wealth is concentrated in the suburbs of Sandhurst, Hyde Park and Westcliff. Major sectors in the city include financial services (banks) and professional services (law firms and consultancies).
  2. Cape Town: The city is home to many of Africa’s most exclusive suburbs including Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye and Bishopscourt. Home also to a number of top-end lifestyle estates including Steenberg and Atlantic Beach. Major sectors include real estate and fund management.
  3. Cairo: Located along the Nile River, Cairo is one of the world’s most important cities historically. It is also home to more billionaires than any other city in Africa. Major sectors include financial services, telecoms and tourism.
  4. Lagos: The largest city in Africa (in terms of its overall population) and the economic hub of West Africa. Affluent parts of Lagos include Ikoyi and Victoria Island. Major sectors in the city include oil and gas and transport.
  5. Durban and Umhlanga: Figures for this area include wealth held in Durban, SA’s third-largest city, and the residential towns of Umhlanga, La Lucia and Ballito. Umhlanga is especially affluent and is home to a large number of HNWIs.
  6. Nairobi: Nairobi is the economic hub of East Africa and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Affluent parts of Nairobi include Runda Estate, Lavington, Kitisuru, Karen and Muthaiga. Major industries include financial services, real estate, tourism, media, clothing, textiles, processed foods, beverages and cigarettes.


According to the wealth report, lifestyle estate living is on the rise in Africa, especially among the wealthy. SA is a global pioneer in estate living and home to many of the world’s best lifestyle estates, including Val de VieSteyn CityFancourtPezula and Steenberg. Estate living is also popular in Mauritius, especially among wealthy expats. Notable top-end estates in the country include Anahita Mauritius, Mont Choisy Le Parc and the One&Only Le Saint Géran Private Homes. Thanks to recent strong growth, luxury estate apartments in Mauritius are now among the most valuable in Africa, with prime prices reaching as high as $5,000 per square metre, similar to prices in exclusive Clifton and Bantry Bay.

Estate living is also starting to take off in several other African countries including Morocco and Egypt. Reasons for its rising appeal across Africa include security and privacy (access gates and private security personnel), lifestyle and community (large open spaces, communal leisure facilities, children’s playgrounds and schools), facilities (on-site gyms, spas, golf courses, horse riding, tennis, cycling, fishing and jogging paths) and limited and controlled traffic (greater safety for children).


  1. Based on the latest estimates of the wealth report (for June 2021), 48% of South African HNWIs either live in or have second homes on lifestyle estates. This percentage has been rising steadily over the past decade – in 2011 it stood at about 30%.
  2. Affluent buyers in SA are increasingly moving towards estates that have apartments. In line with this, most new luxury estate developments in SA focus on apartment living rather than houses.
  3. There is a general movement away from traditional golf estates and towards wildlife and parkland estates. Retirement estates (for over 60s) are also becoming more popular.
  4. Most developers are now creating small neighbourhoods within their lifestyle estates, as opposed to the old model where houses were spaced evenly around the entire property. The new model allows for more parkland and open spaces between neighbourhoods.
  5. Lifestyle estates with parklands and wilderness areas have also become more popular.
  6. Many HNWIs have chosen to work remotely and live in smaller towns. For instance, a large number of South African HNWIs are now working remotely from affluent small towns such as Hermanus, Plettenberg Bay and Franschhoek. Lifestyle estates in these towns have benefited.

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