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Selling to Russians News: Russians buy real estate in Austria
April 21, 2012

Hi Everyone,

First of all I have to ask for your forgiveness for not delivering this newsletter for a while (due to my personal circumstances, sorry). Hope to be better in the future and next time it'll be an issue on what potential Russian buyers want to find at your property website.

The following article on the topic "Russians buy real estate in Austria" was written by Gabriel Brunner, an experienced English - German translator and interpreter who thanks to his involvement in Austrian tourism bodies has had a chance to see the changes during the last decade first-hand.

The Russians... will they buy our houses?

"Russian tourists are a relatively new phenomenon in Austria, especially on the ski slopes. All of a sudden, top-end hotels, restaurants, and boutiques are full of them. Winter tourism in Austria used to be dominated by, and focused on, the rich neighbors, the Germans. Something has changed. Here's what happened.

"Tourist operators agree on a very important point, for them, the only one that really matters: The Russians come to spend money. Until recently, that meant boutiques, hotels, and casinos. But now, Russians are venturing into the real estate business. These are slightly scary, but exciting times.

"It is well known that Russian tourists spend more than any other nationality. During dinner, they will buy a bottle of champagne without even bothering to ask for the price. There aren't as many of them as for example, Germans or Dutch, but they more than make up for it by their seemingly unlimited budgets. In fact, according to statistics they spend more than double. While German tourists spend an average of 114 euros per day, and Dutch tourists a slightly more generous 118 euros, the Russians leave a whopping 250 euros in shops, restaurants, and on ski huts – per day. The main reason for this is the type of accommodation they favor: About a fifth of all visitors from Russia stay in five-star hotels, and more than half of the total number of visitors in four-star establishments.

"It is easy to understand why the Russians are suddenly the most popular among hotel owners and tourism operators. Throughout the legendary ski resorts like Mayrhofen and Sölden in Tirol, ski instructors are studying Russian, and web pages and menus are available in Cyrillic. In the high season, up to 20 percent of all guests in Sölden come from Russia. Russian music evenings are a frequent sight, and the Vladimir Putin's New Years' Speech is broadcast live in grand dining rooms.

"Most importantly for the economy, gone are the days when the Russians came for a few days, bought all the jewelry, and left. More and more they are in it for the serious stuff: real estate. A few years ago, Roman Abramovich bought a 15 million dollar villa on the Attersee lake near Salzburg. What makes this even more remarkable is that legally, non-EU citizens are not allowed to buy real estate anywhere in Austria. However, it seems that with money, anything is possible. Wealthy Russians come to Austria mainly to relax, but a businessman's instinct never sleeps. More and more, these first-class holiday Russian guests wish to invest, like the Germans, only 50 years later. One way of acquiring property in Austria is by founding a limited company, for example.

"Russia's economy has bounced back from a late 90s crisis and has staged a remarkable comeback in the last decade. While the Russian government is known to have failed in a variety of political fields, macroeconomic policy is not one of them. Monetary and fiscal policies have been observed much better than in rival markets. In Austria, this now officially makes Russian holidayers and buyers no. 1. Who would have thought? The Russians are the new Germans."

Mag. Gabriel Brunner is an English - German translator currently living in Innsbruck, Austria. He has worked for the Austrian tourist board and been involved in the development of websites and PR material for guests from all over the world. He lives and works in the spectacular mountainous surroundings of his home town, Innsbruck, and currently runs the translation business G.Brunner Translation

Hope this information from Austria can drive you to a more thorough insight into "Russians buying real estate in YOUR country" and to use it to your business advantage.

If you wish to share any information on Russian presence in your own country real estate and economy, you are more than welcome here.

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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