The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! To buy your home?


This weeks real estate hype from New York City

I was in the process of writing another blog post about the Luxury home market (or lack of) in Bergen County , when I came across an article in today’s New York Times…front page) titled…Time to sell penthouse-The Russians have cash.

So I checked it out and found it to be interesting…but found it to be more sales hype than something earth shattering.  But nervous sellers will be flooding their agents in NYC with emails asking them what they’re going to do to snag some buyers from the REAL Evil Empire…but who we will learn to love, if they buy our ultra expensive homes, that few in our Country can afford, and are willing to buy.

The Cold War is over, and real estate agents everywhere love Russians!

The gist of the article is that a number of trophy apartments are being sold to extremely wealthy Russians…and that’s great news.

But does this really mean, that if it weren’t for the Russians buying these trophy homes, then there would be no trophy home sales?  And how long will this last?

Jill Sloane, a broker with Halstead Property, said, “Everyone knows they are the ones with the big money right now.” She added that when she heard that the penthouse at 15 Central Park West had sold for $88 million, “I knew it had to be a Russian.”

Does this mean that the Russians are the key to the success or failure of the NYC residential market?  And because I live in New Jersey, will this success spillover to the New Jersey and New York Suburban markets?

The billionaire buyers are flush with cash from the privatization of Russian state industries and from high prices on oil and other commodities, and are eager to park much of their fortunes outside the reach of the government of Vladimir V. Putin

What I think will really happen because of this article, is that the realtors in NYC and the suburbs will suddenly be telling all the homeowners who have their homes for sale…that the Russians and other foreigners are major purchasers of luxury homes, so they’ll concentrate on marketing to them.  Which really translates into…we’ll continue listing homes on the web as they always do.

This is going to be used more as smoke-and-mirrors sales babble.  Because in reality, but for the lucky few, nothing will come of this.

Homes sales in Tenafly, Cresskill, Alpine, Demarest, Englewood and Closter…are local.

  • 90%+- of home sales are to people who live locally…within 20 miles of your home
  • as you go further away from your home the sales to out of State buyers decreases dramatically.  And when you go out of the Country, your odds decrease even more of snagging a foreign buyer

New York City is an anomaly for what is happening in the real estate market, or for what Realtors will suddenly start pitching to consumers.

I can’t wait to see what all the NYC brokerage web sites will look like in Russian.

And for those homes for sale in Tenafly…it’s time to translate your listing descriptions.  How do you spell FDR and MEIK in Russian?

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2 thoughts on “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! To buy your home?”

  1. Apparently having Russians in your neighborhood, no matter how upscale, is very well accepted by New Yorkers. They must realize that because of these outrageous prices being paid for real estate that they will also end up paying more if they choose to move on. Hopefully these Russians are being taxed as Americans . The Russians can stay in NY and out of Chicago.

    1. Adam, we’re a diverse region, as I thought Chicago was. And anyway…aren’t we the melting pot of the world, and isn’t that what makes our country so great? And it’s not just the Russians and other foreigners who are paying “outrageous” prices for real estate in New York…so are red blooded American born New Yorkers. And they’re a pretty nice group to have as neighbors too.

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