Do you want to know where Australia and New Zealand’s richest people live?

New data, from Henley Global, a firm specialising in residence and citizenship planning, reveals the top 97 wealthiest cities in the world, and Australia and New Zealand make the list 5 times.

Here’s a roundup of the top 5 richest cities in Australia, and New Zealand, according to the number of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs).

Top 5 richest cities in Australia and New Zealand

RankCityCountryHNWIs (US$10+)10-year HNWI growthCenti-millionaires (US$10m+)Billionaires (US$1bn+)
Source: Henley Global

And next, we’ll look at an overview of each of them, based on their HNWI dynamics.

1. Sydney

Sydney boasts a staggering 126,900 resident millionaires, along with 184 centi-millionaires and 15 billionaires, residing in some of the world’s most exclusive residential suburbs, such as Bellevue Hill, Darling Point, Mosman, Point Piper, and Vaucluse.

Over the decade between 2012 and 2022, the city has experienced a remarkable surge in wealth (35%) and is now on the fast track to becoming one of the wealthiest cities in the Asia Pacific region, making it the richest city in Australia and New Zealand and 10th on the list of the world’s richest cities.

It is anticipated that this trend will persist, with Sydney projected to rank among the top five wealthiest cities worldwide by 2040.

2. Melbourne

Melbourne is home to 96,000 millionaires, 123 centi-millionaires, and 10 billionaires which mostly reside in the city’s most affluent areas of Toorak, Portsea, East Melbourne, and Brighton, among others.

These suburbs are home to a wealth of smart leafy streets lined with mega-mansions where many high-end corporate juggernauts, entrepreneurs, and business people own a property.

These people are flocking to the local amenities, high-end schools, low crime rates and not to mention spectacular city views.

While its HNWI numbers lag behind those of Sydney, Melbourne is fast catching up.

Over the 10 years to 2022, there was a 42% jump in the number of people joining the ranks as the city became an increasingly popular destination for millionaire migrations.

3. Perth

The 3rd city on the list (and it comes in 32nd place by global standards) is Perth, with 33,900 HNWIs, 53 cent-millionaires, and 5 billionaires.

These individuals likely stick to the city’s most affluent suburbs of Dalkeith, Cottesloe, or City Beach where the median house price is around $3.38 million.

Over the 10 years to 2022, Perth 32% increase in the number of HNWIs as the city becomes an increasingly attractive option for Australia’s wealthiest people who are looking for liveability.

The city ranks highly for stability, infrastructure, education, health care, and environment.

4. Brisbane

The fourth richest city in Australia is Brisbane, which also comes in just one position below Perth on the global list (33rd).

Queensland’s capital – and its most affluent suburbs such as Teneriffe, Chandler, and New Farm – is home to 31,900 HNWIs, 45 centi-millionaires and 4 billionaires.

Over the 10 years to 2022, Brisbane saw a significant uptick in the number of HNWIs (+37%) as Australia’s richest, and those migrating from overseas relocated to lifestyle suburbs that offer more bang for their buck.

There has been a steady growth in millionaire migration to Brisbane over the past decade which is expected to continue through 2024 and beyond.

5. Auckland

In fifth place on the list, and the only city to feature in neighbouring New Zealand, is Auckland.

The capital city is home to 24,500 HNWIs – a whopping 43% increase over the 10 years to 2022 – 40 centi-millionaires and 5 billionaires.

With world-leading statistics around economic stability and corruption transparency, New Zealand is also world-renowned for having a strong sense of environmental and social justice and established itself as one of the leading destinations for migrant investors, particularly HNWIs.

Auckland’s affluent suburbs of Herne Bay, Saint Marys Bay, or Remuer are popular locations for HNWIs where property comes with a median price tag of up to $3.16 million.

A final note to investors

Australia’s property market continues in its pressure cooker environment of high demand, low supply, and tightened borrowing.

Property price growth is still robust, supported by these factors, but moving forward our markets will be fragmented with a flight to quality properties.

That’s why, at Metropole, we always advise on the importance of investment-grade properties and locations, rather than chasing a hotspot or growth area.

That’s areas and properties which hold their value over the long term, rather than benefit from an uptick in demand.

But even before looking for the right location, make sure you have a Strategic Property Plan to steer you through the upcoming challenging times our property markets will encounter.

Aside from remembering that you should focus your efforts on investment-grade properties and locations, you also need to remember that property investing is a process, not an event.

That means that things have to be done in the right order – and selecting the location and the right property in that location comes right at the end of the process.

And that’s because what makes a great investment property for me, is not likely to be the same as what would suit your investment needs.

About Michael Yardney
Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media.