The EC Harris Global Built Asset Wealth Index illustrates the differences between 30 countries which represent 82 per cent of global GDP. The Index reveals that total built asset wealth within these countries stands at $193 trillion – the equivalent to almost three times the $68 trillion GDP of the same countries. By 2022, built asset wealth is forecast to increase by 35 per cent to reach $261 trillion.
The Index reveals that the USA is the world’s wealthiest nation, with total built asset wealth estimated at $39.7 trillion. This is forecast to increase to $47.2 trillion by 2022 – a rise of 19 per cent. However, China is rapidly gaining ground on the USA and could overtake it by as early as 2014. By 2022, China is expected to have accumulated $75.7 trillion in built assets.
Singapore has the highest asset wealth per head
When it comes to built asset wealth per person, and therefore the potential of built asset wealth to affect living standards, Singapore has by far the wealthiest population, with an estimated built asset wealth of $156,000 per person. India and China have less than $40,000 built assets per person, while developed economies have structurally higher levels of built asset wealth, averaging $125,000 per person.
UK and Europe lag behind
The UK appears to lag behind its peers in terms of built asset investment, with wealth per person of $88,000 – some 29.2 per cent below the average level of developed economies. This huge gap suggests the UK has significantly underinvested in built assets over many years.
In ten of the economies in the study – including Japan, France, Germany and the UK – the stock of built assets per person is estimated to have fallen in 2012 compared to the previous year, with the most severe decline of -2.1 per cent in Japan. The potential for built assets to contribute to the economy and generate income for the populations of these regions is in decline.
The Middle East and Asia – ones to watch
The fastest growth over the next decade is expected in the Middle East and Africa and in Asia. Asia’s built asset stock of $84 trillion is expected to increase to $137.4 trillion by 2022 – a rise of 62.9 per cent. Similarly, the stock of built assets across the Middle East and Africa is set to rise by 63% to $8.7 trillion by 2022.
The UK and Europe tell a different story. Here, built asset growth is expected to be subdued at around 2.7 per cent over the next decade. In some struggling Eurozone economies, investment is forecast to fall short of asset depreciation, leading to a fall in the built asset stock.
The report is available for download from the EC Harris website