If you thought Moscow property prices couldn’t go any higher – well, they just have! Apartments in the centre of the city are being sold and rented at prices which would appear to defy all reason - except that Moscow is a city, now, of extraordinary wealth.
The average price of an apartment rose to US$16,363 per sq. m. in prime Moscow districts in Q3 2006, according to Knight Frank, Moscow. Re-sale apartment prices rose 62.8% in the three quarters to Q3 2006. Newly built apartment prices rose by 79% in the three quarters to Q3 2006. A small three-room apartment (60 sq. m.) in central Moscow is now worth US$1 million. First-class apartments can command twice that or more – US$30,000 per sq. m. and up is not unknown.
Property is not all that’s booming. The Russian economy grew by 6.5% per annum in 2006, though that is down on previous years. Shopfront after shopfront in Moscow glitters with Western brand names. Huge limousines ferry wives and mistresses to their destinations.
All this wealth is being fuelled by the oil and gas boom. Russia now pumps more oil than...
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