Russian investors putting their money into international property
|Wednesday, 08 October 2008|
Russians are investing heavily in overseas property buying in the French Riviera, Spain and Central London.
As the Russian stock market continues to suffer they are taking their money out of stocks and shares and looking for prestigious properties to buy as a long term investment.
But they have quite specific requirements, according to real estate agents. Access to an international airport, security and modern facilities all matter.
The Russians undoubtedly have money to spend but they don't want lots of land and they are not generally interested in character properties. Few are looking for properties under €800,000 and most have millions of euros to spend and often no top price ceiling.
'The outflow of funds is becoming more important to the international investment market,' said James Gonzalez, market analyst with Obelisk. They are also shrewd and know a bargain when they see one.
Bolt Property Group, constructors of multi-million euro villas in Spain's elite La Zagaleta, has seen a rise in the number of inquiries from Russians.
'Only last week I hosted a Muscovite with a limitless budget. Somewhere like La Zagaleta offers enormous appeal to affluent Russians due to its heightened security measures, stunning countryside, abundant facilities, easy direct air access to Málaga and of course year-round warm weather,' said Hadleigh Bolt.
The French Riviera has always attracted wealthy property investors and is still popular with Russians. 'They come to the French Riviera because of its beauty and the fact that there are a lot of high priced properties in a small region,' said Serge Cowan, managing director of Unique Living.
His company has also seen a surge of Russian buyers in Cyprus. 'There is now a large contingent of Russians with second homes on the island. Cyprus is very much actively seeking to attract higher end property buyers and therefore this is bringing in the Russians who have spending power,' he added.
In London it is Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Pimlico that are the most popular locations for Russians, according to Leonora Wollner, director of Searchwells Independent Property Finders.
Those with families will look outside London but they don't like character properties, flight path noise or a large amount of land. 'They do want privacy, seclusion and absolutely only the very best addresses in each area. We have also found that they are not in tune with the English way of life. Being close to a picturesque village is not a key criteria,' she said.
Their favoured areas are Surrey, especially in the villages close to Guildford, Cobham and the gated developments around Wentworth and Sunningdale and in Berkshire in places like Marlow and Beaconsfield.
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