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Few Russians Purchase in U.S., Even Fewer Expected Now

Sunny Isles, Fla. – “Little Moscow” – has been hot for Russian investors buying luxury homes. But sanctions send a message that investments may not be safeguarded.

SUNNY ISLES, Fla. – Russian investors have long pinpointed U.S. luxury real estate. But since the Russian invasion of Ukraine that sparked worldwide condemnation and sanctions focused on Russia’s elite and their families, Russian buyers will likely make up less of the U.S. housing market, experts say.

Sunny Isles, Fla. – also known as “Little Moscow” and “Moscow by the Sea” – has long been a hotbed for Russian investors to purchase luxury properties in the area, though wealthy Russians have acquired property all along Florida’s southeastern coast.

However, recently imposed economic sanctions directed at Russia send a message: that money can’t be safeguarded through family connections or in luxury real estate.

After the Ukraine invasion started, real estate experts told the Miami Herald the sanctions were unlikely to have a strong impact on South Florida real estate.

“I don’t think that this will have any real impact,” Anders Åslund, a Swedish economist and author of Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy, told the Miami Herald. “The people in Miami are not really the top people. These are comfortable people rather than the top people.”

Still, some aspiring Russian buyers may feel like they are blacklisted from U.S. real estate.

Real estate brokers in the Miami-Dade area say they’ve seen less activity from Russian buyers over the past few years. Jon Mann, a real estate pro with The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker Realty, said it’s because of fluctuations in the ruble and crackdowns on foreign investments using shell companies.

“I think it’s kind of a wait-and-see approach to see how things play out,” Mann told the Miami Herald. “I don’t think there’s going to be a wave of buyers coming here with additional scrutiny from the Biden administration with the sanctions they’ve put in place – I don’t think they’re going to want a microscope on their large cash transactions here.”

Source: “As Biden Targets Russian Assets Over Ukraine, Elite Money Remains Parked on Florida Shores,” Miami Herald (Feb. 24, 2022); “Wealthy Russians Who Parked Money in Florida’s ‘Little Moscow’ Worry They’ll Be Blacklisted From Buying Luxury Real Estate,” Business Insider (Feb. 25, 2022); and “Here Are the Russian Oligarchs Targeted in Biden’s Sanctions,” CNBC (Feb. 25, 2022)

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