Property News

Record attendance at Moscow Investment Show

Last week over 6,000 visitors attended the 9th Moscow International Investment Show in Moscow.

Held against a backdrop of the re emergence of international real estate markets, and the improvement of the Russian economy, investors were out in force.

Organisers aigroup attracted a record number of exhibitors, with over 190 companies representing over 25 countries participating.

Company Austria-Invest stated in a recent survey that real estate ranks first as an investment vehicle, against even gold and securities. According to their survey, 72% of private investors nowadays preferred real estate, 16% preferred gold, and only 11% invested in securities.

People of all nations mostly invest their savings in residential real estate and Russia is no exception, as the 9th Moscow International Investment Show vividly demonstrated. Russians have even developed their investment priorities, with destinations including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, south of France, Finland, Greece, Montenegro, and Turkey proving popular.

“Real estate investments have proven their worth during the past decades,’ underlined Konstantin Isakov, Managing Director of Austria-Invest.

Many participants of the show noted positive changes in the attitude of Russians towards overseas real estate investments. Among them is Natalia Erikkila, Managing Director of World Haus LKV: “As an expert in the sales of Finnish property I’ve been participating in similar shows for twenty years. After the global recession of 2007-2009 saved investors in Russia turned their eyes to income-generating property. Prior to the crisis they would opt for rural homes not far from the Russian border.

‘Now demand for apartments in Helsinki has grown remarkably and people mainly seek rental properties, rather than permanent residences, with the annual yield of 4-6%,’ said Erikkila.

‘Another major change is the higher amount of actual transactions. It was mainly the residents of St. Petersburg who purchased residential and non-residential properties in Finland. Now Moscow investors are buying too. Two years ago the average deal was worth ?100,000–150,000, but now the sum of nearly every transaction reaches ?1-2 million.”

Although the Russian investors are back, exhibitors still notice that compared to Western investors, the Russian buyer needs to have all questions answered.

“The experience of our company in the real estate market exceeds 15 years,’ said Evgeny Krugovoy, Director of Edustro S.A.U. ‘For Western European investors, buying the second home are a common matter, where everything is clear-cut. Meanwhile Russians need and want assistance. Hence the need for property shows which bring together novice buyers and professional real estate agents.”

“A Russian buyer desperately needs competent advisors, who would help him or her in making the right choice, agreed Olga Wolf-Yucel, Sales Director of International Property Consultants.

‘For instance, our company does not only sell property; we also provide legal advice and post-sale services including real estate brokerage and rentals. Our experts aid in the selection of an optimally located rental property that would provide maximum return on investments.”

“Now many of our clients are more fastidious about investment opportunities and advisories, – noted Fedor Sanko, manager with Clifford Capital, in his turn. – This means that the level of services we offer must be very high. We give warranties to our clients, bring the matter to fruition, and solve all issues for our clients. This is why our clients are always content and recommend our firm to their friends.”

Sergey Kozlov, board member at Lemestia Group, commented, “We have been operating in Moscow since 1997. The recent Moscow Investment Show clearly indicates that the market is definitely coming back to life. Real and solid buyers have emerged and the demand is dispersed between different types of property.’

All participants noted the highest professionalism of the aigroup, the event organiser.

Olga Wolf-Yucel commented ‘I can only say that the number of clients visiting this show is beyond any comparison with any other event. We are not only approached by private buyers, but also by investment companies. For example, we are currently negotiating a major deal with a certain company which is going to acquire seaside hotels and a large development plot in Montenegro.”

Mr. Kim Waddoup, president of AiGroup company stated: ‘Here thanks to electronic registration and catalogues given out at the entrance, visitors get the contact details of real estate agents, while the participants get the contact details of visitors. This arrangement is very convenient, as essential information is thereby brought home to potential buyers. The show is a very high class event, and Russians are really interested in buying overseas real estate. Personally speaking while the English or Germans know how to buy, Russians still need and expect to receive expert support. That is why face to face contact at the exhibitions is vital.’