From the pages of RESIDE®: Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World, Fall 2012 European Edition
In recent years Russian buyers have developed into some of the most savvy, discerning and dependable investors in international real estate. As reported in the New York Times earlier this year, because they’re among the most active global figures in high-end acquisitions, real estate brokers and attorneys in places like Manhattan and Florida are crafting strategies specifically catered to wealthy Russian businessmen and entrepreneurs. According to the Times, approximately $84 billion in Russian wealth was spent outside the country in 2011, most of it in real estate, while the number of billionaires in Russia and Ukraine has risen to 109, triple what it was in 2009.
Since the dissolution of the former Soviet Union over 20 years ago, high net-worth Russians have regularly sought to diversify their holdings in safe, non-Russian commodities, including luxury property. But despite what some may believe, simply dangling extravagant homes and apartments, lavishly designed interiors and elite addresses will not alone make premium investors bite.
“Russians today are smarter, faster and family oriented,” says Anvar Kalimov, Partner and CEO for Moscow Sotheby’s International Realty. “The time when they were coming to Paris to buy a luxury flat with a view of the Eiffel Tower for no matter what price are over.”
“These are people who have developed an exquisite individual taste, having traveled all over the world and owned various properties both in Moscow and abroad,” he continues. “Above all they value the unity of form and substance – obviously for an adequate price.”
Russians buyers, in addition to diversification opportunities, are placing more importance on attributes like value and lifestyle orientation. Considerations like private schools, resale potential, market timing and price per square meter are driving transactions to the same degree that size, status and lavish fixtures once did.
Content provided by Derek Duncan exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.