Good News for Luxury Agents – the Millionaire Population is Growing, and Fast

by Peter Thomas Ricci

New research finds that millionaire ranks grew strongly in 2015


There were nearly 128,000 millionaire households in the Houston area through the middle of 2015, up 5.4 percent from the same period in 2014. Millionaire households now account for 5.7 percent of all households in the area.

Those findings came from an annual report from Phoenix, an analytics firm that provides data to wealth managers and investment groups. A “millionaire” household is one with more than $1 million in investable assets, such as stocks, bonds and savings, although real estate and retirement funds are excluded in Phoenix’s analysis.

A Nationwide Growth in Millionaires

Houston was not alone in the millionaire growth it saw last year. According to Phoenix, the U.S. added 6.5 million millionaire households in 2015; that translates to a growth rate of 4 percent, which is the highest since 2011. Furthermore, Phoenix counted one million U.S. households with a net worth of more than $5 million (a 5 percent increase), which is the highest ever recorded.

David Thompson, the managing director of Phoenix’s affluent practice, spoke to the report’s high numbers in The Wall Street Journal, but cautioned that 2016 may be a different story, what with the current problems in oil and the stock market.

“Growth in that market, essentially the 1 percent, has been impressive,” Thompson said. “It’s a milestone, but we’ll see what this year brings.”

Here is how Chicagoland compares with other large metro areas:

Metro Area 2015 Millionaire Households Percent Change from 2014 Millionaire Share of All Households
New York 479,486 2.2% 6.5%
Los Angeles 246,627 1.9% 5.6%
Chicago 210,977 4.6% 6.0%
Philadelphia 146,589 0.7% 6.4%
Boston 133,238 3.1% 7.2%
San Francisco 128,130 3.4% 7.4%
Houston 127,793 5.4% 5.7%
Miami 110,691 7.3% 5.0%
Atlanta 107,739 6.1% 5.2%
Seattle 92,786 3.9% 6.4%

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