Ireland's millionaires club is rapidly expanding

We'll hit the 100,000 mark inside of a decade...

Ireland's millionaires club is rapidly expanding

A man cycles past a residential castle in Killiney, one of Dublin's most expensive districts. Picture by: Haydn West/PA Archive/PA Images

Nearly 5,000 Irish people became dollar millionaires last year, thanks in part to the rising cost of property.

The Wealth Report 2017 from estate agents Knight Frank has revealed that there were 83,100 people with investable assets of over $1 million (€950,000) last year, a 6% increase on the 2015 figure.

The price of people's homes is not included in this figure. A third of Ireland's millionaires live in Dublin.

According to the report, the club is rapidly becoming less and less exclusive. It is set to grow by close to a third over the next decade, with the number of Irish millionaires predicted to pass the 100,000 mark by 2026.

Looking at the even more elite in Irish society, the number of multi-millionaires (those with between €10m – €28m) climbed 160 to 2,760 last year and should pass 3,500 by 2026.

Some 50 people hit "ultra high net worth", with assets over $30m, with that total coming to 890.

Rising property prices have had a hand in improved wealth, with the report hailing Ireland as a "star performer" in global real estate terms, along with Indonesia and the US.

Dublin is ranked as the 31st best performing city in the world when it comes to luxury residential market performance, with annual growth of 2.8%.

Picture by: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

Taking in the global picture, there was a modest increase in the number of ultra-wealthy people last year, reversing a decline in 2015.

There were 60 people who moved past the $1 billion mark. The number of billionaires worldwide has increased by 45% over the past decade, now standing at 2,024.

Five of those are Irish, with nobody new from the Emerald Isle hitting 10 figures in 2016.

Oxfam reported in January that a mere eight men now control the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who represent the poorer half of the world’s population. The report accused governments of allowing corporations and the "super-rich" to avoid tax and to "use their power to influence politics".

Jim Clarken, chief executive of Oxfam Ireland, said at the time:

"It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of just eight men – so few they would fit on a golf buggy – when one in nine people on this planet go to bed hungry every night. Public anger is already creating political shockwaves across the globe with inequality cited as a significant factor in the election of Donald Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK.

"People are tired of a system which seems rigged against them, where big business and the super-rich use their money and connections to ensure government policy works for them."