These US real estate titans made Forbes’ 2021 billionaires list

Zillow and eXp World Holdings co-founders among new entrants

Lee Shau Kee, Glenn Sanford and Rich Barton (Getty, iStock)
Lee Shau Kee, Glenn Sanford and Rich Barton (Getty, iStock)

The world minted new billionaires at a rate of one every 17 hours in 2020 — and some of those came from the real estate industry.

Zillow co-founders Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, eXp World Holdings founder Glenn Sanford and his wife Penny, and Florida home-builder Patrick Zalupski were among the real estate industry’s newest entrants into the ranks of the uber wealthy, according to the latest edition of Forbes’ annual list of the world’s billionaires.

Barton and Frink entered the list with net worths of $2.2 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively. Sanford landed at No. 1,750, with a net worth of $1.8 billion. And Zalupski, the co-founder of Dream Finders Homes, came in with $1.3 billion.

While many of the richest real estate figures saw their wealth grow, they lost ground to tech titans, whose biggest names — Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg — dominated the top five. (French tycoon Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, came in at No. 3.)

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Hong Kong real estate developer Lee Shau Kee, the wealthiest real estate figure on the list, saw his fortune grow from $28.1 billion in 2020 to $31.7 billion in 2021, according to Forbes. But he slipped in the ranking from number 26 last year to number 47 this time around.

Donald Bren, the richest real estate mogul in the United States, saw his wealth decline from $15.5 billion to $15.3 billion.

The Related Companies’ Stephen Ross notched a decline from $7.6 billion to $7 billion, while Sam Zell of Equity Group Investments grew his wealth from $4.8 billion to $5.3 billion.

Forbes pegged former President Donald Trump’s net worth at $2.4 billion, an increase from $2.1 billion last year.

Other real estate moguls who made the list include Neil Bluhm ($5.7 billion); Ed Roski Jr. ($5.5 billion); Ted Lerner and his family ($4.8 billion); Rick Caruso ($4.2 billion); Jeff Greene ($3.9 billion); Donald Sterling ($3.8 billion); Charles Cohen ($3.5 billion); Jay Paul ($3.4 billion); Richard LeFrak & family ($3.3 billion); Herb Simon, who co-founded the predecessor firm to Simon Property Group (tied with Jerry Speyer and Jane Goldman at $3.1 billion); Solil Management scions Allan Goldman, Amy Goldman Fowler and Diane Kemper ($3 billion); Ben Ashkenazy (tied with Jeff Sutton at $2.9 billion); Mortimer Zuckerman ($2.7 billion); David Walentas (tied with Zillow’s Rich Barton at $2.3 billion); and Related Group of Florida’s “condo king” Jorge Perez ($1.7 billion).