The property industry’s big players dominated the top of the Sunday Times Rich List yesterday, with the Reuben brothers topping the list for the first time with an estimated wealth of £13.1bn.
Soaring property prices have helped to push a number of property billionaires up the list of Britain’s richest people, replacing steel and mining magnates whose fortunes have dwindled as a consequence of the commodities downturn.
David and Simon Reuben, Indian-born brothers whose property portfolio includes the Millbank Tower and dozens of West End properties, saw their wealth rise by £3.4bn over the past 12 months, partly due to “hidden value” in their London portfolio, which has benefited from a surge in values.
The pair replaced Len Blavatnik, the Ukrainian-born magnate with interests in coal, aluminium and petrochemicals, whose wealth dropped by 12% during the year to £11.6bn.
The Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor, saw his fortune increase by £790m to £9.4bn, moving him up to sixth on the Rich List, up from ninth, thanks in part to a sharp rise in the value of the firm’s investment properties, much of which is located in and around Mayfair and Belgravia.
The Barclay brothers, David and Frederick, the property tycoons who also own Telegraph Media Group, moved up one position to 13th as their fortune increased £500m to £7bn, thanks partly to the sale of stakes in three central London hotels, Claridge’s, the Berkeley and the Connaught, last year.
The Earl Cadogan, Charles Cadogan, was 16th with a £900m rise in his wealth to £5.7bn after sharp rises in capital values and rents on about 200 London properties acquired in 2014.