Russian oligarchs fleeing to London at record rate

The UK remains the favorite “end point” for the money of wealthy Russians, who are buying residential and commercial property in the British capital, reports.

In the third quarter, the demand from ethnic Russians for property in London spiked to a record high due to growing tension between Russia and the West.

According to Knight Frank, one in every five houses in London costing more than £10 million was purchased by Russian citizens. In 2016, Russians accounted for only 6% of such sales, RBC notes. Last year, however, Brexit and a reform of the taxation on secondary property ensured a low figure.

In 2018, the number of deals involving Russians grew due to a drop in the exchange rate between the pound sterling and several other national currencies. The difference in exchange rate was most profitable for holders of Russian rubles and South African rands. Holders of rubles were able to buy property in the UK for 20% cheaper than in 2016, before Brexit.

Other than London, Russians contributed to the demand for property in Bulgaria, Spain, the US and Germany, according to analysts from Sotheby’s International Realty.

Elite residential property has also been in demand in Russia. By the end of June-August 2018, sales of premium primary housing in Moscow had reached 19 billion rubles. The demand for expensive apartments grew by 140% compared to the same period last year, according to Knight Frank. The number of lots sold grew by 79% to 259, with a total area of 29,000 cubic meters.

  Russia, Britain, London, Europe, Brexit