By Daniel Hunter

They are worth an eye-watering $40 trillion, but the world’s centa-millionaires — those worth $100m or more — are spreading further across Asia, according to a new report.

There are 63,000 of these über-rich individuals across the globe and by 2016 this number will have increased by 37% to 86,000. There are 18,000 centa-millionaires across South-East Asia, China and Japan, more than North America, which has 17,000 while Western Europe has 14,000.

Knight Frank’s Wealth Report, says that by 2016 the Asian region will have extended its lead, with 26,000 centa-millionaires, compared with 21,000 in North America and 15,000 in Western Europe.

The number of super-rich across Africa and South and Central Asia will double by 2016, both up 100%, while Brazil is set to increase at twice the rate of the USA, up by 59% compared to 23%.

Much of their cash continues to be investment in luxury residential property which remains a safe, stable alterative to other investment classes.

London-based property firm Yoo, run by millionaire entrepreneur John Hitchcox, Is working on luxury real estate projects in more than 24 countries around the world, from Mumbai and Moscow to Panama, Berlin as well as the Cotswolds, in the English countryside.

According to Mr Hitchcox, there are several reasons why real estate remains a ‘safe haven’ for millionaire investors.

John Hitchcox, chairman of Yoo, said: “Emerging markets are embracing Western design and expertise and we’re seeing increasing demand for sophisticated property that allows people to live better through great design. People are also attracted to established locations with stable governments that offer long-term security against political instability.

“Those buying our properties want to live alongside like-minded people. It’s all about a strong sense of community where apartment blocks have amazing shared areas that reflect their own personalities or homes that are based in amazing grounds, in desirable locations.”

Giles Baker, director at Raven Russia Plc, said:

“In these volatile economic times it’s unsurprising that real estate continues to be a global hedge against further troubles. But luxury developments like The Lakes in the Cotswolds offers a slice of something no amount of money can buy in Asia or America. Quaint, yet sophisticated living where families come first is becoming a growing backdrop to the hectic work-life for the wealth-driven elite.”

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