Russian Buyers for European Property

Posted by admin 09/03/2016 0 Comment(s)

Russians buyers have been among the biggest investors in overseas properties in Europe for the past 15 years. Even today, despite Russia being in an economic recession, Russian buyers continue to snap overseas properties across the continent. 

In fact, the aftermath of the 2008 recession saw cash rich Russian buyers investing heavily in most of the European countries, especially in Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Italy. And this continues to this day, despite the recent decline in the value of the Rouble and the political confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.

In fact, one might say that wealthy, cash-rich Russians have taken the buying activity to a whole new level.  We are seeing the Russians buy all sorts of properties from land to villas, and from townhouses to apartments. Russians are the biggest buyers of high end apartments and villas in the overseas property market.
For wealthy Russians, investing in overseas property is a major investment. It is much better than investing in the financial markets in the country, as Russia has one of the worst performing stock markets in the world. 

So where are the wealthy Russians buying overseas property? Let’s begin with Spain. Spain is of course everybody’s favorite overseas property destination.  For a long time after the 2008 global housing crash the property market in Spain was pretty much down. Property prices in the Costa del Sol, Canary Islands, Valencia, Murcia, Barcelona and other regions of the country were in a free fall. 

The Russian economy at this point was on a high and this led to several Russians taking advantage of the depressed property prices to buy the Spanish villas of their dreams. Even today, with Spain having largely recovered and with the property market having regained much of its luster, Russians still buy apartments and villas in Spain.

It’s pretty much the same in Portugal, France and Italy, which are popular destinations for those looking to buy overseas property. These countries have very stable real estate markets, so any investment here will pay off, but over the long term. 

What about Bulgaria? Russians are the biggest buyers of houses and apartments in Bulgaria. Bulgaria is very popular with the Russians because of the similarities between Russian and Bulgarian cultures. Russians favour properties along the Black Sea Coast in Bulgaria. Sunny Beach is the most popular beach resort in Bulgaria and an estimated 50,000 Russians have bought apartments here.

Greece and Cyprus are popular with Russians as well. Both Greece and Cyprus have hard upon hard times economically, especially Greece. So properties in the two neighbouring countries are available for a bargain. Estate agents in both Greece and Cyprus claim to receive enquiries from dozens of Russian buyers almost on a daily basis; so high is the interest here.

Russians love buying properties by the sea and Turkey with its perfect Mediterranean climate is fast emerging as one of the most popular destinations for cash rich Russian buyers. Turkey has literally thousands of real estate agencies and the real estate market here is on a high especially after the Turkish government introduced the Reciprocity Law recently, which has made it easier for foreign nationals to buy property here. 

The elephant in the room as far as the Russian property buyers are concerned is the political situation in Ukraine and the fall of oil prices. Russia has been affected by both – the Russian economy is down and the Rouble has fallen to a record low of 81 per US dollar. 

This has certainly lowered the buying power of Russian investors, but in 2016, things are looking up for sure. The Ukraine crisis has been almost solved because of effective international intervention and steps are being taken to boost the Russian economy. So we expect the Russian investment activity to in the overseas market to pick up at some point in 2016. 


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