Athena responds to growing Russian appetite for French and London based properties and investments27th June 2013
Having been on-board Athena Advisors for just over a week, I realise that I have the privilege of joining the company that’s operating in some of the world’s most interesting and booming property markets.
My goal? To promote our expertise and products to our Russian speaking clientele. Russia is a huge market, and with the growing upper middle class it offers great potential for investment property purchases within our main locations. Our “French connection” goes without saying, but this new growth into the Russian market is likely to see more Russian clients come through our specialist London desk which offers prime residential and investment properties in central London.
Central London is considered a true “safe haven” for property and a prestigious place to be based at, an absolute coup de coeur for every Russian millionaire. Not only does it offer great recreation and entertainment opportunities for families, but it’s a number one place to base a business and also the city has some of the best higher education centres in the world.
Similar rationale can be applied to property in areas of France except that the misunderstanding surrounding red tape and tax implications can often be daunting for Russian buyers. And that’s where Athena’s new Russian desk will play a big part. Holiday homes in the French Riviera and the Alps are in high demand from Russian buyers and will always be, so I’ll be working not only with private investors, but also with Russian agents who are looking to access our portfolio and French property secrets and we will make the process of investing here much easier to understand.
Two of our most recent clients include a Russian entrepreneur in the automotive industry, who wanted to invest in an income generating asset. We secured him a boutique hotel in the Alps which already has a management team in place so it was a hands-off investment. The other client was looking for a commercial investment in central London. Now this was more complicated, but we put together a portfolio of supermarkets around London, with long leases and rental return around 6%. The indexed returns for this investment provide long term security along with their strategic locations. Of course as we hit the summer season requests for property in the south of France from Russian buyers are also on the increase.
Let the adventure begin!