Russian Tycoons Snapping Up New York Real Estate

A plummeting ruble and a frozen stock market (trading in Moscow was once again suspended last week) mean that rich Russians are desperate to move their remaining money abroad. At least some of them are pouring it into New York real estate. Luxury pads in places like London and Manhattan were popular among elite Muscovites even before the property crash, but demand is increasing now that many top properties are selling at a 15 to 20 percent discount from their highs. Edward Mermelstein & Associates, a New York real-estate firm that specializes in helping overseas clients buy property in the United States, has closed six deals in recent weeks on behalf of Russian clients at 15 Central Park West, the glitzy Robert Sterndesigned condo building on 61st Street. Prices per square foot are down significantly from highs of about $7,000 per square foot, paid just a couple of years ago by the now beleagured bankers and hedge-fund managers who are selling them. "My Russian buyers see these apartments as a very good investment," says firm head Edward Mermelstein. "They are worried about economic and political persecution in their own countries, and they still believe that the Anerican market is strong and safe." Good thing somebody does.

Russian Tycoons Snapping Up New York Real Estate | World