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Selling to Russians News: Russian buyers of real estate in the USA
March 05, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Russian buyers of real estate in the USA

I've put together some media reports and my own sources on recent real estate sales to Russian buyers in the USA and particularly in the state of Florida.

"Russian billionaires have been making headlines for snapping up some of the most opulent homes in the United States. Yuri Milner overpaid by 100% on a $100 million Silicon Valley mansion in 2011. Dmitry Rybolovlev's daughter bought an $88 million penthouse in New York City in 2012 (after spending $100 million on Donald Trump's Palm Beach palace in 2008). This week, an anonymous Russian buyer plunked down $47 million in Miami's most expensive sale ever."

"Some of the biggest sales made to Russians, including the $188 million spent on properties in Florida and New York by trusts linked to Dmitry Rybolovlev, who made billions from potash fertilizer; the $48 million that a composer, Igor Krutoy, paid for an apartment at the Plaza Hotel; and the $37 million spent by Andrei Vavilov, a former deputy finance minister, on a penthouse at the Time Warner Center.

"No group is consistently writing bigger checks than the Russians.

"Over the past four years, Russians and other citizens of the former Soviet Union have signed contracts to buy more than $1 billion worth of residential real estate in the United States, according to estimates from lawyers and brokers.

"The spending spree may just be warming up, given that $84 billion left Russia last year, with the Russian government estimating that up to 5 percent of that capital flight was being plowed into American real estate. The number of billionaires in Russia and Ukraine has more than tripled since 2009, to 104, according to Forbes."

Yahoo Finance:

"It's the rich Russians who are dominating the market for mega-mansions and are fueling much of the recovery in the broader Miami real estate market. They're spending hundreds of millions of dollars on waterfront palaces and launching the next big land grab by the world's super-rich.

"The most expensive home ever sold in Miami was purchased this summer by a Russian. The 30,000 square-foot home on Indian Creek Island went for $47 million in August to an anonymous Russian buyer.

"A home on Star Island sold recently for $25 million to Russian vodka king Roustam Tariko. The $20 million sale of an entire floor of the St. Regis Bal Harbour went to a millionaire from Ukraine.

"Russians spent more than $12 billion on overseas real estate last year, with more than $1 billion of that coming to the United States, according to the National Association of Realtors. While the exact numbers for Florida aren't known, the state ranked first in the nation for its ratio of foreign sales, with more than one in four homes sold to overseas buyers.

"When it comes to the big properties, I would say the Russians are first," said Eber, who together with her partner Jill Hertzberg sold the Indian Creek property and several of the other highest profile deals. Their agency, called "The Jills," has sold more than $340 million worth of property in 2012, far ahead of 2011.

"Yet rich Russians have a particular attraction to the largest Miami mansions and condos. The weather is a welcome escape from Moscow winters. Russian millionaires and billionaires are also obsessed with security and protection, which they can easily find in Miami's large collection of gated communities, private islands with private police forces and protected condo towers."

"Why Miami is becoming Russian Riviera?

"To better reach the rich Russian buyers, some super-brokers in Miami are opening business offices in Russia and studying the dos and don'ts of Russian culture.

"They are even forming a joint venture with Russian commercial realtors to feed them business. They are also translating their websites into Russian."

And the USA media goes on and on like that on exceptional real estate purchases of Russian buyers in the USA and Florida in particular.

Now let's move down to earth on the topic.

A friend of mine lives in a somewhat typical South Florida condo building: just north of Miami, oceanfront, nice area, 19 stories high, built 40 years ago, well-maintained, all amenities: 2 pools, gym, library, restaurant, beauty salon, security 24/7, valet parking. The past 6 months completed condo sales range from $250,000 up to $450,000 in this building depending on the size, floor, view, condition of the unit (and ability of finding a good deal maybe?). Guess what? Russian-speaking owners are on the title of 90 condos in this building out of the total of 270 units. Yes, right, one third.

I have 'Invest in Florida' website in Russian internet and receive all kind of inquiries about real estate in Florida from Russian visitors through it. Many are asking for a property under $100,000 to buy for cash and rent it out under a local management.

So, as we can see Russian buyers for the USA real estate can be found all across the board of properties prices – from 100 thousand to 100 million of dollars…

To your best business success,


Olga Kellen,
"Anything Russian",
English - Russian Translator,
Associate member of ATA,
American Translators Association
Author of the e-book for realtors
Selling to Russians

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