Guess Where Rich Russians Are Buying Property

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine rages on and the US continues to put the squeeze on Putin’s economy, rich Russians are buying up properties in South Florida!

Local News WPLG-10 reports that in Sunny Isles Beach, an area also known as “Little Moscow,” real estate experts say wealthy Russians are parking their money in empty condos.

Daniel Gielchinsky said the US sanctions, intended to separate rich Russians from their money in response to the invasion of Ukraine, are, in fact, encouraging sales of condos that have been lying empty in Sunny Isles Beach.

“Many of those condos will be dark pretty much for the life of those buildings even though someone owns them, is paying for them, is paying the taxes and insurance, utilities because they didn’t buy it to live there,” Gielchinsky said. “They bought it as a vehicle to keep dollars safe when other parts of the world are considered declining and unsafe.”

Gielchinsky said most of the condos in Sunny Isles are “ghost condos” used to hide assets.

While some may have expected the real estate market in the area to dip after the US sanctions on Russia, it doesn’t appear to have been significant in “Little Moscow.”

WPLG’s reporting was a follow-up to reporting by NewsNations’s Brian Entin. WPLG’s story said that many of the Russian real estate experts who spoke with Entin about South Florida’s “Little Moscow” before the invasion are no longer accepting calls to be interviewed by the media. 

Gielchinsky said clients are hesitant to see their real estate adviser on television.

Rather than a mass Russian selloff in “Little Moscow,” he said, more Russians are buying to get around sanctions. 

“If they have, for instance, a $30 million boat and they are concerned the boat might get seized — well, they sell it. Turn it into dollars. And from there, it is anyone’s guess where the money goes,” Gielchinsky said.

Attorneys told NewsNation the Russians don’t use their names to buy the condos. Instead, they buy the condos in the name of corporations, which makes it difficult to track who actually owns the units.

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