Back to Back Issues Page
Selling to Russians News: Russians buy international real estate, 2010 in review
April 04, 2011

Hi Everyone,

This year it took me longer than usual to find the previous year summary of international real estate purchasing by Russian buyers. For whatever reason there is still no general summary published by any analytic company in Russia like it happened every year in the past... Maybe 2010 was too patchy in its real estate trends and not easy to analyze?

Anyway I can offer you this translation of 2010 analytics of one of the largest companies in Russia specializing in selling international properties to Russians, Miel, hoping that their own experience in 2010 and their predictions for 2011 might represent Russian buyers of international properties behaviour in general.

According to their report the major trends of 2010 became the increase of an average property cost of an international property purchased by Russian buyers and also total volume of purchases. They noticed as well that Russian buyers turned to more stable real estate markets and they buy less just for the purpose to invest some extra money abroad.

In 2008 and 2009 the most popular country among Russian buyers was Bulgaria (60%, then 32% accordingly), but in 2010 Italy became the leader (35% of all the purchases).

Montenegro lost its position. In 2008 12% of all purchases were made in this country, then 30% in 2009. But in 2010 only 1.5% of Russian buyers turned to Montenegro, which can be attributed to the country’s unstable real estate market.

The total share of world-wide properties that were purchased by Russians in Western Europe was 64% in 2010. Aside from Italy (35%), Russians were buying in Czech Republic (9% of purchases), Spain (8%), Germany (7%), and Great Britain (5%).

One of the obvious leaders that Russian buyers preferred in 2010 was the USA with 12% of all real estate purchases completed by Russians all over the world. The reason can be attributed to the lowest real estate prices in the USA during the last 10 years.

Now, the increase of an average cost of a purchase that Russian buyers made world-wide goes like that: in 2008 the average property purchase was for EU 175,000, in 2009 it was EU 220,000, and in 2010 it climbed even more up to EU 285,000.

The minimum cost of a property purchased in 2010 increased more than twice in comparison with 2009 – from EU 33,000 for a studio in Egypt to EU 83,000 for a 1-bedroom in Italy.

Russian buyers of international properties are getting less inclined to buy just for the sake of putting money abroad.

In 2009 80% of Russian buyers declared their goal as purchasing a vacation home or investing abroad, while in 2010 this number decreased to 60%. Some other goals in 2010 were to live in another country permanently (12%), to send children to study abroad and provide them with their own place to live (15%), and to start their own business abroad (10%).

The report concludes with the list of requirements that Russian buyers have while choosing a property to buy internationally:

  • Comforting climate
  • Cost of living cheaper than in Moscow
  • Some Russian-speaking population around
  • Resort-style living and possibility of doing business at the same time
  • Possibility of getting a permit to stay in the country of purchase temporary or permanently
  • Rather inexpensive real estate prices

  • The analytics say the same preferences will continue in 2011. They do not expect much change this recent year. In 2010 the demand for international properties on behalf of Russian buyers was growing and its major difference from the past was in more thoughtful and demanding attitude of buyers.

    The analytics also think that this recent year the Russian buyers demand for purchasing properties internationally will mostly grow towards the countries with stable markets, especially if they offer a possibility of getting a permit to stay in the country where the property had been purchased.

    Hope you will find this summary information for the year 2010 in terms of Russian buyers preferences and trends in international properties purchasing somewhat useful in spite of the fact that it is based on the data of just one Russian real estate agency (although a huge one).

    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

Back to Back Issues Page