Russian Buyers of Overseas Property – Who Are They?

The purpose of this study is to determine who constitutes the bulk of Russian-speaking overseas property buyers, where and which objects they prefer to buy, what their needs and values are, what they are interested in and what attracts them.

We relied on the results of an online survey we conducted, which included more than 200 agencies and private realtors.

The most typical buyer of overseas property is the entrepreneur — a man older than 30 (and usually younger than 45), who is married and has children.

The vast majority of realtors (80.9%) indicated that a lot of buyers are interested in holiday accommodation, especially that which is close to the sea. The rest of them (19.1%) reported that buyer interest lies with property in big cities — capitals and business centers.

More than two-thirds of respondents (68.2%) observed that flats and apartments in complexes are more popular than houses and villas (31.8%). In general, there is no pronounced prevalence of primary or secondary property: 55.1% of sellers noted that more buyers are interested in newly-built objects.

Buyers are primarily interested in objects that fall in the lower price range: more than a half of the participants in the survey (56.1%) indicated that the majority of customers prefer properties up to US $150,000. Only 13.6 % of them observed a significant, though not a predominant, share of sales in the segment over US $500,000. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (60.6%) reported that there is a significant number of buyers who want to purchase property on credit or in installments.

The most popular reason to purchase overseas property was recreation and entertainment (71.5% of the realtors gave this response). The second purpose is business and work (48.7%). The third most popular option is studying in local educational institutions: it was selected by 17.6% of the respondents. The fourth place was taken by medical treatment and health maintenance. This option was chosen by 15.5% of survey participants.

Two thirds of the respondents (66.0%) indicated vacation experience as the main reason motivating people to purchase property. The second most popular reason is available financial resources, noted by half of the survey participants (49.5%). This is indicative of the fact that Russians who have earned substantial money often prefer to invest it in overseas property. This trend is experienced by Tranio.Ru: many buyers who come to us want to buy property as a reliable and justifiable investment. Third place is occupied by advice from relatives and friends. This reason was noted by 29.9% of survey participants. It is characteristic that only 7.7% of them reported traditional advertising among the reasons for buying property. Potential property buyers are much more likely to trust the recommendations of friends over advertising. Finally, another popular reason for buying property is fear about the political and economic situation in the buyer’s home country. This factor was mentioned by 29.4% of respondents.

Favorable climate and weather conditions are the main things that attract buyers in foreign countries. A great number of the respondents (70.8%) indicated climate and weather as the most attractive qualities of an overseas country. Other factors are much less important. For example, a positive attitude toward Russian-speaking people was indicated only by 43.6% of realtors. Investment prospects are among popular factors, as well (40.0%). More than a third of the respondents (37.4%) pointed out beautiful nature and scenic views. Some respondents noted other attractive features for buying: transport accessibility (24.6%), environmental security (19.0%) and favorable legislation (17.4%). Some respondents also pointed out low maintenance costs and servicing of housing (especially in Spain) as attractive factors, as well as exotic traits and local uniqueness, cultural and historic landmarks.

Unequivocally, shopping facilities and services are in the leading position among preferred residential and social infrastructure elements: 60.7% of the respondents indicated them as key features. Health care services are in the second place, indicated by 38.2% of survey participants. These features are followed by entertainment facilities (36.6%). Domestic and household services (cleaning, laundry, repairs, etc.) were mentioned among priority features by 30.9% of the realtors.

Other infrastructure facilities scored less than a quarter votes. They include communications and the Internet (24.6%), housing and communal services (22.5%) and managing companies (17.3%). Maintenance of streets and public establishments, sport facilities, and emergency services were mentioned in rare cases.

About the company:

Tranio.Ru —website with the largest database of overseas properties in Russia