Billionaires from Russia and the former Soviet Union have spent $1 billion on residential property in the United States in the past four years.
As the U.S. real estate industry continues to struggle, high-end property is bought up by customers from countries with emerging economies like China, India and Brazil. But it’s the Russian customers who leave the former in out in the dust, according to the New York Times.
Dmitry Rybolovlev, billionaire and former owner of one the Russia’s largest potash fertilizer concerns, Uralkali, was involved in two of the most costly property deals. He purchased the most expensive New York apartment at 15 Central park West for $88 million earlier this year, and he bought Donald Trump’s Palm Beach villa for $100 million.
Russian composer and music producer Igor Crutoy paid $48 million for a flat at the Plaza Hotel, and Yuri Milner, founder of Moscow-based DST, which invests in internet companies including Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Groupon Inc., paid $100 million for a 2,370-square-meter mansion in Los Altos Hills, California.
The owner of Russian Standard Bank and Russian Standard Vodka, Roustam Tariko, closed the most expensive home purchase in Miami Beach since 2006 when he bought a $25.5 million estate in April 2011.
Even after the millions have been spent on the property, Russian billionaires reportedly spend millions more in renovations. Construction tycoon Vladislav Doronin, boyfriend of Naomi Campbell, bought Shaquille O’Neal’s home on Star Island in Miami Beach for $16 million in 2009 and spent $20 millions on renovations.
The mammoth-sized deals closed by Russian billionaires encouraged developers and brokers to push the prices of other luxury residences up. The penthouse at 157 West 57th Street, New York’s tallest residential building, is now selling for $115 million, up from the original $98 million.