Friday, May 23, 2008

Russians snap up Australian luxury

Australia's sun-drenched Gold Coast with its high rises, endless beaches and tranquil inland waterways is a magnet for just about anyone with a taste and budget for the good life.

Tourists, retirees and investors – not to mention surfers - have long flocked to this ritzy coastal strip south of Brisbane, where the climate is so mild summer never seems to end.
Hardly surprising, then, that record numbers of cashed up Russians are buying prized real estate in one of Australia's fastest growing regions.
Flush with wealth from oil and mining, Russian entrepreneurs are snapping up multi-million dollar waterfront mansions and luxury penthouses in Surfers Paradise and surrounding districts.

"We are seeing a huge increase in the money that they are spending," says Rob Sainsbury, director of residential sales at Colliers International Gold Coast. "Developers are now starting to come here from Russia as well." They are attracted by the solid returns of recent years and the expectation that their investments will grow in the future, although rising interest rates have dampened the market nationally.

Waterfront homes

The Gold Coast's 3,000-strong Russian community is tight knit.
There are few overt displays of wealth and this group of Eastern Europeans has quietly blended into the area's rich multicultural mix.
"First of all, it is a real nice place for holidays and some Russians choose to live here," says Moscow-born estate agent Elena Shakirova, who specialises in properties in Runaway Bay north of Surfers Paradise.
"They can move their business from Russia to Australia.
"Most of them are looking for waterfront homes, new penthouses, luxury apartments, and some of them are just looking to buy a block of land so they can build a house that they really want." To read more click here.

By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia