How active were Russian home buyers in the London property market last year?

A new study from Benham and Reeves, a London letting and property agent, examines international buyers in the capital and highlights the proportion of property purchases that can be attributed to those from Russia.

Some 82,305 sales of residential (Type A) properties took place on the London market last year with a market value of £55.7billion, while homebuyers paid £3.7billion in stamp duty.

In addition to these primary purchases, another 13,016 transactions took place for additional purchases such as second homes and buy-to-let investments (Type B).

Around 30% of this market activity is thought to have been attributed to international buyers, with Russian buyers accounting for 1% of all market activity.

This means Russian buyers accounted for around 247 purchases of prime residential properties on the London market in 2021, with a total market value of £167m, paying just over £11m in stamp duty in the market. process.

Benham and Reeves also estimate that Russian buyers made around 39 Type B transactions with a market value of £22.8m, paying £2.2m in stamp duty at the highest rate for this type of purchase.

In total, Benham and Reeves estimate that 286 London properties were sold to Russian buyers in 2021, worth just under £190million in market value and earning the government almost £13.3million in royalties. stamp.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, commented: “Russian activity has long contributed to the overall health of the London property market, with the strength of the ruble traditionally prevailing in London’s prime areas.

“However, activity by Russian buyers still represents only a very marginal proportion of market activity and, although the rapid implementation of economic sanctions against Russia may have a ripple effect here in the capital , they will certainly not cause a market decline of any kind.

“In fact, while this segment of international buyers is expected to shrink now as assets are frozen and the Iron Curtain comes down again, it is likely that we are actually seeing a Rise in Russian Property The London market has always been a safe haven in times of crisis and with many looking to escape a plummeting Russian economy, chances are London will be their destination of choice.

Penny D. Jackson