South Florida by the numbers: Miami-Russia real estate connection

Miami /
Feb.February 10, 2017 11:15 AM

“South Florida by the numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics.

Over the past 10 years, Russian interest in Miami real estate has had more twists and turns than a good Tom Clancy spy novel. When the fall of communism spawned a slew of billionaire oligarchs in the late 2000’s, our city saw record-setting deals that spectacularly raised the bar in the luxury residential sector. Sunny Isles Beach quickly became “Little Moscow,” where Russian emigres purchased condos at rock-bottom prices and established a community of shops, restaurants and other businesses.

But over the past few years, the ruble took a huge tumble, U.S.-imposed sanctions rocked the Russian economy, and government scrutiny over big-ticket Miami real estate cash deals increased dramatically, leading to a sharp decline in interest from Russian buyers. However, the election of Donald Trump has violently shifted the dynamic once again, and these same buyers seem to be emerging from the cold. Let’s take a closer look at the unique Russian market in this edition of “South Florida by the numbers.”

1: Russia’s ranking among foreign countries searching for Miami property online during November 2016 (election month), according to the Miami Association of Realtors. This marked the first time Russia has topped this monthly list since 2013, the year that the association began tracking web searches through its portal, Miamire.com. [The Real Deal]

149 percent: Increase Russian buyers would pay for Miami luxury real estate today versus what they would have paid in 2007 (due to the value the ruble has lost against the dollar), according to a report from EWM Realty International. This, along with major declines in the value of the Argentine peso and the Venezuelan bolívar, are major factors why the once strong flow of foreign investors purchasing Miami real estate has slowed so significantly. [The Real Deal]

33,000: Through June of last year, the number of airline passengers that traveled between Russia and Miami – a 37.4 percent reduction from the same time period in 2015. [Miami Today]

75 million (plus): Estimated square feet of real estate developed by Russian Vladislav Doronin, whose OKO firm is developing the 57-story Missoni Baia condo in Edgewater, along with a 47-story residential tower on Biscayne Bay at 25th Road. Often dubbed “the Russian Donald Trump,” the eclectic 54-year old billionaire has a passion for both art and Miami. [Miami Herald]

$34 million: Price of a 2.72-acre Palm Beach lot recently sold by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev to a local attorney. Rybolovlev originally purchased the entire 6.26-acre site from (who else?) Donald Trump in 2008 for $95 million, who had purchased it in 2004 at auction for $41.35 million. [The Real Deal]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida’s elite real estate professionals where membership is by invitation only and based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.


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