For the first time in five years, Gina Rinehart is no longer Australia's richest person. And in a perfect analogy for the property boom taking over the mining boom as the key driver of Australia's economy, the list is now topped by apartment developer Harry Triguboff.
Rich #1: Harry Triguboff, Managing Director, Meriton, $10.62b
A member of every Rich 200 list since its inception in 1983, Harry "Highrise" Triguboff has no intention of slowing his pace as the Sydney property boom continues. The AFR reported on the BRW list results, stating "Triguboff knows how many subcontractors are on each site, the cost of the building materials Meriton uses and how quickly or slowly, depending on market conditions, the apartments need to be built. Little escapes his attention. Triguboff has worked hard but he’s also been in the right place at the right time to ride multiple waves; the residential property boom, record low interest rates and a rapid uptick in desire by Asian buyers, based here and abroad, for Australian city apartments. Almost one in five Meriton purchasers are from Asia and up to 70 per cent of buyers overall come from Asian backgrounds."
Already the biggest apartment developer in town, his Meriton Group:
- has 500 apartments that he rents out or operates under the Meriton serviced apartments brand, a number that will soar to 7000 by the end of 2016. He’s made money renting them out as rents kept rising.
- is on track to sell a record $1.2 billion worth of apartments this financial year and contracts have been exchanged for about $1.6 billion worth in the 2017 fiscal year.
- has bought, sold or rented 70,000 apartments in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast over the past decade
His place at the top of this year’s Rich 200 also reflects the end of the mining boom and falling wealth of the mining billionaires.