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Wealthy Russians Are Quietly Unloading Real Estate Across The U.S.

For the longest time, wealthy Russians have made real estate investments in the United States. These oligarchs purchased a large number of upscale residences in cities like Miami and New York City prior to the global financial crisis. After the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014 and President Barack Obama’s subsequent sanctions against the country, Russian investment in U.S. real estate ground to a halt.


A Compass real estate agent with Ukrainian ancestry claimed that between 2005 and 2014, she sold between 30 to 40 Manhattan apartments to Russian purchasers. However, despite sanctions, the high cost of New York City apartments raised alarms.

Andreas Rentz/ Getty Images | New York City’s real estate market is flooded with Russian oligarchs and sellers trying to liquidate their assets


There is currently even less exposure of Russian investors to American real estate, and “there has been no meaningful financial flow out of Russia to the United States. CRE for quite some time.”


Rich Russians are secretly trying to sell U.S. properties worth hundreds of millions of dollars as the conflict in Ukraine rages, and the deals are raising questions in hotspots like New York, Florida, and California. real estate agents. Russian clients seeking to privately sell off multimillion-dollar properties through so-called “whisper listings” have deluged New York City real estate agents, in a rush to liquidate assets amid fears that additional U.S. sanctions will be imposed against anyone thought to be connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Real estate sources claim that those are only a few well-known examples of how Russian sellers have recently offered big U.S. deals. Brokers claim that the silent selloff began prior to the battle but ramped up after President Biden declared in his State of the Union address that the US was targeting oligarchs’ expensive boats, aircraft, and apartments.

Decades of investing

NYC Post/ Getty Images | While a few high-profile listings have been identified, most Russians buy and sell anonymously


Ever since the Soviet Union fell apart, Russian money has been pouring into the United States. In a 1999 congressional hearing, Richard Palmer, the head of the CIA’s station in Moscow, cautioned that during the final stages of the Soviet Union, Russian kleptocrats and KGB officials had transferred billions of dollars into unregistered accounts in both the U.S. and Europe.


Much of the money was transferred into real estate and opulent commodities that were concealed by shell corporations after the Patriot Act, which requires notification of significant banking transactions, was passed in 2001. 

Properties for sale 

Gabriel Pevide/ NYC Post | Many are selling up for fear of being caught in US sanctions over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine


In Central Park South, at least 61 properties have undergone price revisions, listing changes, or other changes in the past week. Rich Russians and other wealthy foreign investors have long been drawn to Central Park South, a little area located just three blocks along 59th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Columbus Circle. Since the invasion of Ukraine started on February 24, there have been at least 16 new or updated listings at One Central Park South, the fabled The Plaza building. These homes typically cost between $1 million and $28 million.

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