Russia and Ukraine Wealth Flood London Market

Global Business

Wealthy Russians and Ukrainians are preparing to shift huge sums of cash into the London housing market, according to property experts, as tensions along the border between the two countries threaten to destabilize their economies.

The claim comes as a penthouse in the UK capital has set a new record by becoming Britain’s most expensive apartment, sold to what’s believed is a Russian buyer for $225 million. CCTV’s Richard Bestic reports from London.

Russia and Ukraine Wealth Flood London Market

Russia and Ukraine Wealth Flood London Market

Wealthy Russians and Ukrainians are preparing to shift huge sums of cash into the London housing market, according to property experts, as tensions along the border between the two countries threatens to destabilize their economies. CCTV's Richard Bestic reports from London.

Britain’s high-end property market has long been a barometer of international unrest. It’s financial and political stability offering a safe haven for the wealth of the world’s super rich in times of trouble. Global property advisers of JLL say capital flight from Russia and the Ukraine is accelerating, as the conflict on their borders intensifies.

Adam Challis, JLL Head of Residential Research, says: “Wealthy individuals and families that see a potential downside risk of retaining capital in Russia and Ukraine, beyond the current crisis we’ve seen a series of downgrades in the Russian economy over the past year. So, the need to shift that capital into places where frankly it’ll perform better, but probably more importantly, protect the existing position is the real motive at the moment.”

According to research by international estate agents Savills Russian, buyers spent around $300 million in the London housing market last year.

Others like buying agents Property Vision believe it’ll be sharply higher this year.

So what has this desire among the world’s super rich to park their money somewhere safe done to property prices in the UK capital? A lot. People now have heard that a penthouse here at One Hyde Park has just changed hands for $225 million.

Property Week has reported the penthouse was bought by an Eastern European.

Adam Challis says: “With average prices rising at 18 per cent a year, there were fears that London’s property market could be overheating – even before the anticipation of a new tide of Eastern European money.”