The world’s wealthiest people may start using suborbital space travel — pioneered by investors such as Richard Branson — to cut travel times and expand their property empires, according to Knight Frank.
More than 70 individuals with a combined wealth of $200bn (€145bn) are investing in space projects including travel, Knight Frank said ahead of its release of The Wealth Report 2014 on Wednesday.
A suborbital trip from London to Sydney will take about two hours and 12 minutes or one-tenth the time of flying by plane.
“New commercial space will be one of the most exciting investment sectors in the next 20 years,” Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, was cited as saying in the statement.
London is currently beating New York as the global wealth hub because of its proximity to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Russia, according to the London-based real-estate firm. The location premium may fall within a decade as space flights cut travel times, it said. “Ticket price will be critical,” Knight Frank said.
“If this is a technology for billionaires only, then property market disruption might be limited to a wider choice of global lunch options.”
Reduced travel time may encourage investors from China and India to buy their second homes in Europe, Knight Frank said.