Bulgaria Top Property Destination for Russian Govt OfficialsProperties | August 20, 2012, Monday // 15:24| views
Russian government officials, just as the other Russian buyers, are interested mainly in vacation properties in Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria is tops the list of international property destinations for Russian state officials, according to a survey of the Russian newspaper Vedomosti.
The survey was carried out in connection with a bill that is to ban all Russian MPs, military officers, and administrators – and members of their families - from owning properties abroad.
Vedomosti surveyed 1000 property declarations of Russian officials, and found that over 100 declared they own property abroad.
About one-third of all real estate properties abroad owned by Russian government officials are in Bulgaria; those are most cheap and small apartments.
Bulgaria is followed by Italy where the Russian MPs purchase primarily provincial villas. Beachfront properties in Spain come in third, while, according to the declarations, Finland is a more popular property destination for Russian officials than Greece.
"We wanted a place where we could go to with our young son, and this was the best at the moment: good location, good infrastructure, warm sea, fresh fruit, everything that kids need," Andrey Melnikov, Deputy Director of the Russian Agency for Insurance and Deposits, is quoted as saying, referring to his family's 101-square-meter apartment in Bulgaria's Burgas that they bought 6 years ago.
The wife of Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak has declared a 40-square-meter apartment in Bulgaria's ski resort of Bansko, bought back in 2008.
"She saw that the price to quality ratio was phenomenal, especially given the prices in Moscow, which made her choose to buy it," explains Storchak, adding that he was in Bansko only twice, and that his family does not use the apartment very often.
"Bulgaria is not deemed an elite property market, there is no comparing it with Monaco, London, or New York. It is mainly for resort properties, and there are no problems for a foreigner to buy real estate," explains Georgiy Karchamazo from property portal Tranio.ru.
The Russian Duma will be considering two versions of the relative legislation – the first merely obliging Russian officials to declare their properties abroad, while the second might in fact oblige them to get rid of them in 6 months' time. It remains unclear where the harsher legislation will get through.
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