SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. – As the attacks on Ukraine continue, so do US sanctions that could affect real estate in South Florida.
It’s no secret places like Sunny Isles Beach are popular with Russian real estate investors.
Natalia Raphael has been in real estate for 20 years and works for the Raphael Rodriguez Group at the Keyes company and knows the Sunny Isles Beach market well.
“Of course, sanctions will affect real estate purchases here,” she said. “It will be difficult to come and visit the property. It will be difficult to transfer the money for the purchase.”
For those who are Russian and sanctioned, the news gets worse.
Ed Patricoff is an attorney with Duane Morriss who deals with international matters, including asset seizure, arbitration, and disputes.
“Your assets will be blocked,” he said. “That could be your real estate, could be your bank account.”
Patricoff says you could see assets like condos frozen and end up the property of the United States government.
“Wherever they are heavy concentrations of wealthy Russian immigrants you’ll see this issue pop up,” he said.
Back to real estate, where agents are already seeing apprehension from potential buyers.
“We do have clients in Moscow primarily who would want to go but are scared and want to sit out and wait,” Raphael said.
Real estate in South Florida continues to be one of the hottest markets in the country.
Experts say folks from the north and Latin America continue make up the majority of buyers.
Meaning a lack of Russian buyers, while important, will not significantly change the local market.
“I think it will slow down. I don’t think it will freeze completely,” Raphael said.