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Selling to Russians News: Russian buyers and anti-Russia sanctions
November 05, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Russian buyers and anti-Russia sanctions

Euro and American dollar keep rising against Russian ruble, the US and EU keep sanctions against Russia, Ukraine crisis goes on... How do international real estate markets - especially in those countries where Russian buyers play significant role - react? In April we talked about that in terms of predictions, but now there are some numbers to analyse already... Real estate portal Prian published interviews with realtors from some very popular with Russian buyers countries and here they are in English for you as a short version.

1. Bulgaria (sea coast and ski resorts)

Bulgaria as a country depends on Russian buyers maybe the most as more than 300 000 Russians already own properties here, there are local realtors serving almost exclusively Russian buyers, there are "Russian" complexes and schools. Thanks to Russians, real estate in Bulgaria had stopped going down more and more.

This is not any official statistics, but some Bulgarian realtors say that this summer 2014 the demand from Russian buyers dropped about 30% in comparison with the previous summer. Some other realtors say that they witness the same level of demand, but the interest has moved towards cheaper properties...

There is no general escaping of Russian buyers from the Bulgarian market as it happened with the Brits in the past.

Ukrainian buyers are coming to Bulgaria as an affordable real estate market to take their savings to and even move to live here permanently while their own country is in turmoil, but their budgets are usually lower than Russian buyers had and have now.

2. Great Britain (London)

If we can call Bulgaria a mass-market for Russian buyers, then Great Britain is an exclusive market – the most prestigious areas in the center of London are in demand. During 2012 and 2013 Russians were the leading foreign buyers of properties here starting from two million pounds and up. In 2014 Russians are still in the top 3, but not number one anymore...

3. Spain (sea coast)

Since 2007 the real estate prices in Spain have reduced approximately in half which attracted foreign buyers in huge quantities.

In 2013 Russian buyers were in the top 3 foreign buyers in Spain and in 2014 they are still in the top 3 with a bit more than 8% of all real estate purchases, not much change...

And Ukrainian buyers are also here with requests for homes and apartments for permanent stay.

4. Latvia (Riga and Jurmala)

Since 2010 the small country of Latvia has attracted more than 8 000 of Russian buyers for properties over 150 000 Euro as it gives property owners European Union passports according to the new Latvian immigration law. But starting Sept. 1, 2014 the entrance barrier changes to 250 000 Euro and it's hard to say how it'll affect Russian buyers...

Ukrainians haven't come to Latvia to buy properties – maybe, too expensive for them?

5. Montenegro (sea coast)

On the sea coasts of Montenegro Russians are the key real estate buyers since the mid 2000s. This summer 2014 local real estate market players evaluate some 30% decline of purchases by Russian buyers...

Local people here still embrace Russians coming to the country as always, but the government joins anti-Russia sanctions as the country is a potential candidate to become the European Union member and so has obligations to do what others do.

So, we had an opportunity to look at some local markets with this publication – in terms how anti-Russia sanctions affect Russian buyers of international real estate.

If you are interested in your own local market that is not covered by this report, please email me and we'll see what info we can find on your particular country and real estate niche.

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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