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Ending London’s reliance on Russian wealth will be hard, suggests report

Research by estate agency Aston Chase reveals London has 150,000 Russians living there and that a clamp down would lead to a mass exodus.

Nigel Lewis

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De-coupling the central London property industry from its reliance on Russian Oligarch’s huge wealth will be a lot harder than many people might imagine, new research by agency Aston Chase suggests.

As Western efforts to cut off Russia and its leaders from world trade are ramped up and the war in Ukraine becomes ever bloodier, the research reveals that there are 150,000 Russians living in London who own assets including property worth some £8 billion.

The war, and the likely collapse of the Russian economy, has led to a spike in Russians seeking an expensive London home – but Aston Chase says a severe clampdown on Russians living here would lead to a swift exodus.

The agency has just sold an £11.5 million 6,000sq Regency townhouse in St John’s Wood, one of the Capital’s ‘red quarters’, while nearby a seven-bedroom house sold to Russians for nearly £25 million.


Aston Chase reports that opinion on current sanctions from Russians living in the UK, is mixed.

On the one hand, if the crackdown on so-called ‘dirty money’ becomes severe, for example thorough retrospective investigation, then there will inevitably be a shift of wealth out of the UK.

An attraction of the UK as a whole for Russian buyers was that they felt their assets were safe here, if this is no longer the case then an exodus from London would not come as a huge surprise.

On the other hand, the younger generation who are buying and living in the UK are confident in the validity of their assets and have no concerns regarding sanctions becoming stricter, says its co-founding director Mark Pollack.

March 2, 2022

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