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Stampede Into Crimean Real Estate Hits Hurdles

Russias business ombudsman Boris Titov called land ownership inCrimea a big problem.

Published: April 9, 2014 (Issue # 1805)



  • A view of the waterfront of Sevastopol. Russians have been in a rush to snap up property since the annexation but are facing administrative barriers.
    Photo: Alexxx Malev / flickr

Wealthy Russians, eager fora holiday residence bythe idyllic Crimean seaside, were burning up thephone lines oflocal real estate agencies even before Russia officially declared its annexation ofthe Ukrainian peninsula.

However, ahost ofuncomfortable practicalities not least among them thelikelihood that purchase agreements would not be internationally recognized are fornow holding themarket incheck.

Thesurge inapplications ononline real estate portal Nadezhda-Krym began about aweek prior tothe referendum on Mar. 16 inwhich more than 96 percent ofvoters inthe territory supported joining theRussian Federation, thewebsites director Nikolai Pisarkov said Monday. Military forces widely believed tobe Russian have been incontrol ofthe peninsula since late February.

Thenature ofthe applications has also changed, he added. While Russians were interested inpurchasing apartments andhouses inthe past, they are now also considering buying plots ofland forfurther development.

Over thelast two months theportal has also noted anincrease inapplications fromcertain regions ofeastern Ukraine, such as Donetsk andLugansk.

Prices onreal estate are higher inRussia, so just as inany market, people want tobuy ata moment ofcrisis andsell when theprices go up,Pisarkov said.

Some Russian firms are already seizing onto thenew market. Good Wood, acompany specializing inthe construction oflog cottages, plans toinvest $20 million inthe region over thenext two years, founder Alexander Dubovenko said.

Thecompany is opening asales office inthe region andwill begin constructing houses forcustomers with land inthe region. They are also searching forthree large plots ofland onwhich tobuild their own settlements ofcottages, which will go onsale inMay 2015.

Thepeninsulas new government is anticipating avast wave ofdevelopment as Russian business enters theregion.

We are really counting onCrimea turning intoa big construction site. We are inspired bythe example ofSochi, theregions new Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev told RIA Novosti.

Many grave systemic issues persist, however, which are likely tohold themarket incheck foryears tocome.

Fornow, it is impossible tobuy or sell properties inCrimea. We cannot perform basic transactions, such as thesale ofreal estate, because we have no registration database. Kiev has blocked our access toit, Temirgaliyev said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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