Russian Oligarchs and New York City Real Estate

Scrutiny over purchases of U.S. real estate by wealthy Russians is growing in the wake of the war in Ukraine. But these deals represent a drop in the bucket in the scheme of the nation’s housing market. Russian buyers accounted for just 0.8 percent of all foreign buyers who purchased U.S. residential property between April 2015 and March 2021. A little over half of the Russian purchases were all-cash deals. Only 41 percent of these buyers live abroad—the rest are U.S. residents who were looking for a home to live in.

Russian oligarchs have purchased the expensive properties in major cities across the U.S. for years, with New York City serving as an especially hot spot for wealthy Russians to invest in pricy real estate. But tracking the ownership of those apartment sales is tricky, with many oligarchs able to hide their identities behind limited liability companies, shell companies, and trusts. Moreover, thanks to the fact that the real estate industry has managed to nab “temporary exemptions’’ — for two decades — from American anti-money laundering laws since the Patriot Act of 2002.

Here is a shortlist of Russian oligarchs and their business partners who have reportedly bought luxury apartments, penthouses, or townhouses in New York City:

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: NY Post) and Image Courtesy: The Hill/NY Post