Logo

Comment: The new wave of Russian buyers descending on our shores

PUBLISHED: 14:00 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:44 06 November 2017

Anton_Sokolov

Director of north west London estate agents, Glentree Estates welcomes the return of the Russian buyer

Trevor Abrahmsohn, director at Glentree EstatesTrevor Abrahmsohn, director at Glentree Estates

Three years ago there were more Russians that you could ‘shake a stick at’ hoovering up a plethora of prime properties in London, with gay abandon. We not only thought ‘the Russians are coming’, it was an avalanche.

Originally, after the Cold War collapsed in the 90s, the first Russian families started to set up homes in Highgate, since this was near to the Russian Trade Delegation Compound, in Highgate West Hill, and strangely enough, close to Highgate Cemetery where ironically, Karl Marx is buried. It was interesting to note that when former Soviet spy, Alexander Litvinenko, died (he was allegedly murdered by drinking tea laced with Polonium 210, whilst being entertained by the Russian agent called Lugovi at the Millennium Hotel in 2006), his lead lined coffin was buried in the same cemetery.

Over time, as the Russian communities grew, restaurants with Russian cuisine, supermarkets and specialist wine stores began to spring up around London, such as Hedonism Wines, in Mayfair.

When the sanctions were imposed, a number of years ago, as a result of Putin’s ‘land grab’ of Crimea, the flow of Russian buyers was stemmed. The Moscow Stock Market and the Ruble were badly affected and, furthermore, a tax was imposed to stop the flight of capital leaving the country.

We thought that the ‘golden goose’ had stopped ‘laying golden eggs’.

However, much to our delight, in the last three months we have seen them back again with new found, gusto.

To quote a notable Russian client of ours, ‘we didn’t buy property in London when Sterling was cheap in 2008 and with the post Brexit drop in the currency now, we are not going to lose the opportunity again’.

Fundamentally, Russian’s see the drop in residential property prices, in key parts of London, of up to 25 per cent due to the Stamp Duty/Non Dom changes and, together with the Sterling currency discount, it is an irresistible opportunity for them to ‘bag’ some prime London residential assets that effectively, can be bought for up to 50 per cent less (in aggregate) than would have been the case in 2014.

No key metropolis in the world offers this incredible inducement and to find it in the ‘greatest city on earth’, London, is ‘party time’ for them.

The Russians are not just buying finished products that provides them with instant gratification, but, even raw parcels of land without planning consent, where the gestation period from original purchase to moving in, could be 4-5 years.

In fact, a Russian buyer has just gazumped a Chinese buyer in Highgate for these very reasons.

Whilst Brexit discussions with the European European Union does provide some uncertainty, the effects of this in devaluing Sterling against the Euro/Dollar, is a ‘win,win’ for the Russians.

They love our culture and our socially liberal, environment with a stable, political and economic backdrop and it is good to see them back again. As they say in Russian, ‘dobro pozhalovat nazad’ (welcome back).

Trevor Abrahmsohn, director of Glentree Estates

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

New property development Clarendon opens in Haringey Heartlands

Property developers St William are transforming the old Clarendon Gasworks into a residential and commerical city village as part of the Haringey Heartlands development.

Wasps: a total nuisance or horticultural hero?

They may be the biggest nuisance at summer barbecues, but wasps are also of great benefit to the garden - but how so? A top entomologist reveals all

Seven ways to make sure your dahlias dazzle this summer

As dahlia societies nationwide stage their annual shows this month, expert Katie Kingett offers seven tips to success with these late summer showstoppers

Rug designer Sonya Winner, opens showroom in Dartmouth Park

Emma Rice talks to rug designer Sonya Winner about her passion for colour and her new inspirational showroom in Dartmouth Park

Inside the St John’s Wood home of interior designer, Brian Woulfe

This elegant apartment in St John’s Wood has been carefully curated by interior designer and former concert pianist, Brian Woulfe

House price gap between London and regional cities set to narrow over next two years

The property price gap between London and other cities around the UK is predicted to narrow in the next two years according to figures published by Hometrack

Tom Dixon kicks off series of architecture and design events in Kings Cross

Architecture and design discussion group New London Architecture will be hosting a series of dinners at Spiritland in Kings Cross this summer, starting with an event featuring renowned furniture, lighting and home accessory designer Tom Dixon, on Thursday, July 26.

‘The means of production are changing’ - designer Tom Dixon looks to the future

Tom Dixon, designer of iconic modernist furniture and lighting, has moved his business to a new Kings Cross HQ. Here he talks about what he learned working in the music industry, moving to the epicentre of London’s future industries and finding new creative ‘obsessions’.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant