Russian interest in South Florida is back, and it may be here to stay.
Russia held the top spot on the Miami Association of Realtors’ list of countries searching online for real estate in Miami at the end of last year. Russians searched for South Florida property the most of any other country for the second consecutive month in December, following the election. November 2016 was the first time that Russia made the top 10 list since the Realtors’ association began tracking web searches through its portal, Miamire.com.
Real estate agents and developers say that Russian buyers, who tend to congregate in Sunny Isles Beach, are again investing in South Florida with the hopes that President Donald Trump will lift U.S.-imposed sanctions against Russia. Sunny Isles has six Trump-branded condo towers, many of which targeted Russian buyers. In a Washington Post article published in November, Miami Red Square Realty head Roman Bokeria said that Russian investors see the Trump brand as a safe haven for their money.
Even before Trump was elected, Russian buyers were active in South Florida’s luxury residential market, buying units in Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles (a.k.a. Little Moscow) and Surfside. On the development side, billionaire Vladislav Doronin and the Verzasca Group are building projects in Edgewater, Bay Harbor Islands and Sunny Isles. Doronin has Missoni Baia in Edgewater, and owns more land in Miami. Verzasca is developing Aurora in Sunny Isles and two boutique condo buildings in Bay Harbor Islands.
Behind Russia in the association’s ranking were Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina. The United Kingdom dropped off the top 10 list with Italy taking its place from the previous month.
Here’s the full list: