The strength of the dollar against the sterling and the Euro is providing Russians with discounts in some cases of 50%.
Russian buyers are particularly interested in prime central London apartments, as well as country houses with equestrian or waterfront facilities. In Europe, properties in established communities in the south of France, Italy and Portugal are sought after.
Elena Norton, head of the Russian Desk at Knight Frank says: ‘Since the financial downturn in Russia started, the Knight Frank Moscow office saw a 15% increase in demand for overseas property. There is a pressure to utilise cash by buying property abroad which is seen as a safer bet to the volatile stock market and banking systems.
‘We expect to see even more demand for UK properties in the coming years. Those whose properties have appreciated considerably are selling to release the equity to fine tune their portfolios. We have several investor clients who hold several flats in London and who are selling to use the proceeds to buy houses in London or the home counties.’