Euroinvest Expands as Andrey Berezin Seizes New Opportunities in UAE & Turkish Real Estate Markets

Where are Russian buyers going from the real estate markets of Turkey and the UAE, and what is the role of the company “Euroinvest” and entrepreneur Andrey Berezin in this

Over the past year, Russians have largely abandoned the idea of buying housing in the UAE and Turkey, which until recently were the undisputed leaders of such preferences. What influenced this decision, where the money of those who no longer want to invest in real estate on the Mediterranean or Red Sea may go, and why not all Russian developers will be able to benefit from the changes that have occurred, we explain in our article.

A drop even sharper than the previous growth

Just a year ago, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates were the two most popular destinations for Russians’ property acquisitions, with their total market share exceeding 42%. And now it has decreased by 82% at once, and now the number of residential properties purchased by Russians in these two countries does not even reach 8% of their total number.

Andrey Berezin, Euroinvest.

Analysts explain the reasons for what happened as follows: the tectonic events of early 2022 prompted a certain part of Russian residents to very carefully study the possibilities of buying real estate abroad, and Turkey and the Emirates turned out to be, perhaps, the most convenient countries for this – since, on the one hand, they had relatively low prices for residential properties, and on the other hand, they were ready to offer favorable conditions in terms of regulatory design. In Turkey, it was relatively easy to obtain citizenship for investment in housing, and in the UAE, it was convenient to transfer capital and even some types of business. In addition, these countries were convenient due to the low “entry threshold” – entry into them is visa-free, and air traffic is quite frequent and regular.

All this together led to a sharp increase in the activity of Russians in the markets of both countries, which, according to some estimates, acquired a truly feverish character. The explosion in popularity occurred in 2022, but the period of extremely high demand lasted until 2023, and after that began to decline. The decline was also predetermined – after all, everyone who wanted to buy housing in Turkey and the UAE, and had sufficient financial resources to do so, was able to do so within a year, and there was simply nowhere for a new solvent audience to appear in the country during this time.

In addition, economic changes managed to dampen the interest of Russian buyers – including the inflation of the Turkish lira and the rapid growth in the cost per square meter of housing in both locations. In addition, at a certain point, Turkey sharply increased the minimum amount sufficient to obtain a residence permit. Previously, it was 70 thousand US dollars, and it increased immediately to 200 thousand. In addition, certain tightening was introduced into the system of regulatory regulation of the short-term rental housing market, which made it difficult for foreign owners to dispose of their real estate.

There were also negative factors in the UAE. For example, in the Emirate of Dubai, the number of developers who do not fulfill their obligations has sharply increased. Information about this quickly spread through profile publicity, cooling demand. Also, as in Turkey, housing in the UAE simply became noticeably more expensive during this time, and now it is affordable for a much smaller part of Russians than it was a year and a half or two years ago.

As a result, both countries not only lost dominance in total home sales to Russians, but also lost the palm in popularity to Thailand. The UAE retained the third position, but Turkey fell back to fifth place in terms of the number of transactions concluded.

However, although the fall turned out to be noticeable, it did not at all mean the complete end of the “Russian” era in the real estate market of these states. For example, in Turkey, Russians still remain the largest group of home buyers – even after all the restrictions and deteriorating market conditions, such opportunities are still available to them.

Oman as an alternative

But a holy place is never empty, and if Turkey and the UAE have sunk in popularity, then for certain countries it simply has to grow. And this is really so – in addition to the already mentioned Thailand, Greece and Spain came out in the leading positions, and, which surprised many – the Sultanate of Oman. The latter country, located on the Arabian Peninsula coast, borders the UAE. The latter circumstance, on the one hand, meant that the local authorities had the opportunity to assess the methods by which the leadership of the Emirates attracted investors to themselves, and learn to reproduce them at home. And on the other hand, those potential buyers from Russia who, at a certain point, no longer had enough money to buy housing in the UAE, naturally considered the neighboring country as an alternative. As a result, although the acquisition of real estate in Oman became fully available to Russians only in September 2023, by the New Year holidays, sales volumes had almost doubled.

Oman attracts potential “apartment” investors with a soft tax policy, relatively low prices, and, as many analysts emphasize, a high potential for investment growth. Among other countries that have received a new wave of interest from Russians for similar reasons, Indonesia is also highlighted. It still lags behind Oman in terms of the growth rate of transaction volumes but could potentially become one of the main magnets for private investment from Russia.

But if we consider not individual countries, but entire regional directions, then the most popular will be the trend towards buying real estate in Europe. The EU countries together turned out to be, according to many aggregators, the most active direction of investing Russian money in housing – they account for up to half of all transactions made. Within the European bloc, Greece and Spain are in the lead. Both countries show a significant increase in the number of purchases made – their number increased by about 40% over the quarter. The reasons are similar to those listed earlier for Turkey and the UAE – on the one hand, it is relatively cheap, at least compared to other EU countries. On the other hand, it is possible, with a certain threshold of investment in real estate, to obtain a residence permit.

The Russian market is the most attractive

However, all these growing indicators should not be misleading. In general, the volume of housing purchased abroad and the funds spent on it by Russians continues to fall. In the first quarter of this year, the decline was 12% – the figures seem to be not catastrophic, but at the same time, they unequivocally indicate that the downward trend dominates, and, most likely, will continue in the near future. But why is this happening?

The simplest explanations are related precisely to the decline in the activity of housing purchases in Turkey and the UAE, for the reasons already described above. But the picture is by no means limited to the complication and rise in the cost of real estate in these two foreign countries. In fact, in the formed equation, it is necessary to take into account the part that concerns the Russian housing market. And he, compared to 2022, has gained in popularity.

Andrey Berezin, Euroinvest.

Although, it would seem, prices have also risen inside Russia. In addition, the conditions for issuing preferential mortgages with state participation were tightened, which, starting from 2023, is the main locomotive for supporting housing sales in new buildings in the country’s regions. Thus, the minimum amount of the initial payment on transactions using preferential mortgages was increased to 30%. The issuance of any mortgage loans to people with an initially high level of debt load is limited. And for residents of both Russian capitals, the existing exceptions for the maximum amount of loans issued were removed. If earlier Muscovites and St. Petersburgers could borrow up to 12 million rubles, now, together with all Russians, no more than 6 million.

But all this negativity was outweighed by the efforts of those who are most interested in the inflow of money into the market – that is, construction companies. The first half of 2022 was a serious blow to them – firstly, a noticeable part of customers who were frightened by sharp changes in the economy and politics left the market. And secondly, long-standing supply chains for building materials, equipment and components were destroyed. This double attack forced developers to deeply revise their own development strategies and make many updates to the processes of housing planning and construction, and marketing.

As an example of successful adaptation to new realities, experts often cite the construction holding “Euroinvest” from St. Petersburg. One of its co-owners is Andrey Berezin, who, after years of industry experience, is considered one of the most experienced businessmen-developers in the region.

It was the views of Andrey Berezin, as they say, that determined the contours of the transformation that “Euroinvest” went through in 2022-2023. It included, among other things, changes in the practice of planning and building housing, including those codified within the framework of the new 3ID concept. According to this concept, the company builds not just residential premises, but full-fledged centers for life, leisure and work, with an emphasized role of public spaces in them. Conference rooms, coworking spaces, classrooms and multimedia centers are actively integrated into the new residential complexes of Andrey Berezin’s holding, and all this is in addition to more traditional green areas, children’s and play areas. In addition, priority is given to the availability of social institutions, primarily kindergartens and schools, and everything related to trade and service.

“We are actively developing the trend of good neighborliness and see its relevance in already completed projects. In addition, each quarter has its own infrastructure: shops, cafes and bakeries, household services – everything that is in demand in everyday life,” Andrey Berezin, co-founder of Euroinvest, described his vision of the 3ID concept.

In addition, “Euroinvest” took a number of measures to increase the flexibility of its marketing strategy – including targeted discounts and varieties of installment plans, including a very long one – up to 3-4 years. In addition, various types of subsidized mortgages were practiced, which allowed customers to obtain a loan on the most suitable terms for them.

The result of this activity was a sharp increase in the company’s sales in the most difficult periods of 2022, which continued in the future. “Euroinvest” became one of the leaders in terms of the volume of housing being built in the Leningrad region, and consolidated its position within the Northern capital. While a number of large construction organizations were writing off losses, Andrey Berezin’s holding continued to grow.

This experience has shown that it is the qualitative renewal of approaches to the housing being built that can turn around the opinions of potential customers, bring them back to the market, and ensure successful competition for their money. And in many respects, the current decline in activity in the most popular foreign destinations is determined precisely by these successes of domestic developers. If they continue in the same spirit, we can expect that even more Russians will return to the Russian housing market from Turkey and the UAE.

Top 10 countries by the number of citizens purchasing real estate in Turkey in 2023 (according to data from the Turkish Statistical Agency, Turkstat):
CountryNumber of transactions
1Russia10 560
2Iran4 272
3Iraq1 917
4Ukraine1 720
5Kazakhstan1 440
6Germany1 363
7Azerbaijan832
8Kuwait 822
9Saudi Arabia810
10USA693

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