Real Estate Holdings Among the Super-Rich in the USA
Real estate ownership is an important component of the wealth portfolios in many parts of the world but it has attracted relatively little research attention. Historically, land ownership was the primary determinant of elite status: it generated income, provided access to the political peerage system, and was a primary constraint on upward mobility for those not in the landed classes. Today, global elites often own real estate across many locations and local real estate markets have become increasingly interconnected by the hyper-mobile super-rich (Paris, 2013). In contemporary USA, real estate ownership is relatively and most people hold the majority of their wealth in the form of real estate, particularly home equity. Thus, land ownership is not as deterministic as it once was, but it still plays a central role in financial well-being and the distribution of wealth across house- holds. Real estate has both use value and financial value. It may appreciate in value and it can hedge against losses in other investments.