Mortgages Blog

Finance Blogs » Mortgages Blog » Sold! $48 million apartment

Sold! $48 million apartment

By Judy Martel ·
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

Who is purchasing the most expensive real estate? Although buyers from around the globe are investing in the downturn in the U.S., the Russians are writing the biggest checks, according to The New York Times.

Since the real estate market crashed four years ago, the Times reports that Russians have signed contracts for more than an estimated $1 billion in residential U.S. properties. They have the money to buy: Forbes reports that the number of billionaires in Russia and the Ukraine has tripled since 2009, to 104.

Last month I blogged that luxury-home prices are still falling, even as less-expensive real estate is stabilizing. That's giving foreign buyers an extra incentive to buy while the market is still in decline.

Some of the biggest deals include properties worth $188 million in Florida and New York, purchased by fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev; a $48 million apartment at New York's Plaza Hotel purchased by composer Igor Krutoy and a $37 million penthouse at New York's Time Warner Center secured by former deputy finance minister Andrei Vavilov.

Aside from the buying opportunities, it seems some of the reasons for Russian interest in U.S. real estate are political. Since privatization of many state industries and soaring commodity prices, newly minted Russian millionaires and billionaires are eager to get their money away from president Vladimir Putin's clutches.

"I think Putin scares them to death," broker Victoria Shtainer told the Times. What do you think of Russians and other foreigners buying luxury U.S. real estate?

Keep up with your wealth and mortgages and follow me on Twitter.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
June 01, 2012 at 1:08 pm

You must be high, ciara?
Bush? Valerie Plame?
Da **** are you talking about?

You can be an Obama apologist...we get that...just don't be pathetic at it.

May 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm

@Ciara - How can you blame Bush for our current economy?
Where is all this change we were promised?
Wait, we did get change.

High unemployment, a historical national debt, low wage jobs, gas and food prices skyrocketing.

Stop blaming the Bush administration. I would rather live in those times, then what is going on now.

May 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Shenanigans! You don't have to be a frugal extremist like Warren Buffet or Hetty Green but there is no way that rich people don't realize the real value especially if they are rich enough to buy anything - they won't pay for a $10,000/suite hotel suite where the furnishings cost less and the mattresses are reused. They know they can't make the $48 million back in rental income so they have to expect a fellow sucker to buy it for more down the road and anyone that stupid probably will never be rich enough to buy the overpriced apartment. It's not like Akihito and his clan who get a winning powerball ticket every year as their annual budget, you know?

Reality Bites
May 19, 2012 at 1:26 am

Since those buying these types of properties havent earned any of their money they don't have a problem wasting it.

The 1% are always parasites, they didn't get to be the 1% by working, they got it by being psychopathic kleptomanics.

ciara joyce
May 13, 2012 at 12:03 am

I'm not thrilled that non-citizens are buying US property, but we let Wall Street get us into this mess, with the help of Bush & Cheney, so we can't complain.

I agree that getting money away from Putin is the smart thing for anyone in Russia to do. Putin has scared me for many years now. He could turn out to be worse than Stalin.

I hope our intelligence agencies are keeping a very close eye on Putin and the very few he allows in positions of power. If he could handle the whole government himself, he would. Too many people have underestimated Putin, or they see him simply as a show-off (shirtless in the snow, etc.). He wants people to think he's just a show-off, not a "leader." No one with good sense thinks he's a good leader, or just a slick politician. He's a tyrant, but for the time being, sending people to the gulags or simply executing trouble-makers is done very quietly. Probably only a couple people in the government know the extent of his executions and permanent incarcerations. Valerie Plame was probably lucky to be "outed" when she was (but Cheney should have been impeached for such behavior anyway).

jeanette tipkins
May 10, 2012 at 6:05 am

I have a lot for sale on chiago Ill.