‘Panic and uncertainty’ among Russians buying property in London | Evening Standard

Russian buyers are starting to pull out of property deals in London amid fears that they will be caught up in more wide reaching sanctions from the British government following President Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

At least two purchases in Marylebone and Regent’s Park fell through this week — but agents say there are few signs yet of a full scale exodus.

Mark Pollack, co-founder of agents Aston Chase, said one buyer who put a deal on pause was “worried about blanket sanctions — but was at pains to stress they had paid tax on every pound of money they had earned.

“But there is still this fear that everyone will be tarred with the same brush. There is a huge amount of uncertainty at the moment.”

The highest profile rumoured seller so far is billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich who Labour MP Chris Bryant told MPs yesterday is looking for buyers for his £150 million mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens as well as a flat in Cheyne Terrace, Chelsea.

Becky Fatemi, director of agent Rokstone, said “the mood now is panic and uncertainty among Russian clients. They’re panicking because everything they own might be frozen.”

Another high-end agent said he had been contacted by a number of potential buyers asking who the Russian sellers might be in the hope they could pick up a bargain.

Wealthy Russian buyers have been among the most active at the top end of the property market in and around London over the past 20 years.

Russians and other investors from former Soviet states are believed to own around a quarter of the 430 luxury on the exclusive St George’s Hill estate near Weybridge in Surrey.

Agents were keen to make the distinction between the kelptocrat buyers who turned up in London with “suitcases of cash” in the Nineties and Noughties and the younger purchasers of more recent years.

Trevor Abrahmsohn, managing director of north London agents Glentree, said: “We practically have to inspect the Y-fronts of our buyers. Solicitors take several months conducting the money laundering investigation and if a buyer turns up on a list of suspect people they can’t deal with them.”

This content was originally published here.

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