Spanish property market involvement by Russians was already declining

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ACCORDING to the College of Administrators, over 2% of residences purchased by foreigners in Spain in 2021 were purchased by Russian nationals - 1,280 in total.

Over the last few years, Russia's market share has decreased. There were 3,399 purchases in 2012. Although real estate experts expect additional contraction, Ferran Font, director of studies for the property website, points out that the Russian client has very little exposure in the Spanish market. He emphasizes that the bulk of customers are from coastal holiday destinations and metropolitan areas.

Vladimir Putin is one of the Russian real estate investors in Spain, or so it is reported. He has been linked to a number of properties in Spain. One was a Marbella estate with a golf course and a shooting range. It was, however, the property of a Russian businessman with the same initials as him, Valeri Ponomarev.

In 2006, the Russian market accounted for 1.24 percent of total international purchases. This was slightly higher than Ukraine's 1.12%, but Russian buyers preferred larger homes - over 100 square metres compared to 60 to 80 square metres for Ukrainians.

By 2008, the market had risen above 4%, with 1,270 acquisitions, 64 percent of which were new homes. Two years later, the percentage had increased to 7%, while the percentage of Ukrainians remained at around 1%. The high point was in 2012 when Russians accounted for 9.62 percent of all foreign purchases.

Valencia has been the most favoured region for Russian purchasers. This was the case, for example, in the year 2020. Catalonia was the last to arrive, followed by Asturias and Cantabria.

Despite the fact that Russian engagement in the Spanish industry is limited, Emiliano Bermudez, Don Piso's deputy CEO, believes that the luxury end of the market is at risk of losing one of its finest consumers.

According to the Idealista property website, "the market assumes that home purchases by Russian citizens will practically evaporate," with the impact felt in areas of Spain where Russians choose to live, such as the Alicante coast.

According to the Fotocasa website, Sanctions will have an impact on investment, "like happened after the invasion of Crimea," compounding a long-term declining trend.

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