The Real Deal New York

Russians see U.S. residential market as a ‘safe-deposit box’: VIDEO

February 27, 2013 09:30AM

Wealthy Russians are increasingly turning an eye toward the real estate market in the United States, CNBC reported. Edward Mermelstein, a prominent real estate attorney and developer, said that Russians were looking to “spread the wealth all across the globe.”

Many Russian clients of his, he added, are now looking to invest in projects ground-up, particularly in condo developments. “They’ve been buying condominiums for 10 years, this is just an extra layer of risk, that’s all,” Mermelstein said.

Indeed, Russians have been behind some of the largest deals in the New York residential market, including fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev’s record-shattering $88 million of a penthouse at 15 Central Park West. Russian investors also play by different rules, with a premium on discretion and a tendency to make all-cash deals, as The Real Deal previously reported. [CNBC] —Hiten Samtani