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Iranian protests may raise demand for foreign property – survey
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Iranian protests may raise demand for foreign property – survey

Since late December, when mass public protests erupted in Iran, Iranian investors have become more active in the international property market – in particular, the United Kingdom, Canada and Turkey.

According to the 2017 Tranio survey, political and economic instability is one of the main reasons why Russian nationals buy property abroad. The protests in Iran may have a similar effect. Tranio's data demonstrates that the demand among Iranian investors for property abroad has already started growing. In December, Tranio received 2.5 times more requests from this group of investors than the month before. We expect the number of transactions involving Iranian buyers to increase significantly this year.

George Kachmazov George Kachmazov Founder and Managing Partner

United Kingdom

“The number of Iranian clients in the UK market has grown over the past two years after President Obama eased the anti-Iranian sanctions”, financial broker Eugene Tripuk, from British company Arc & Co, said. “But banks are wary about providing them with loans. As a rule, financing is available to non-Iranian residents or those with double nationality. However, in this case, banks still tend to request for proof that the client does not have income or assets in Iran itself. In other words, the cash flow must have nothing to do with this jurisdiction”, he added.

According to the London-based Rokstone real estate agency, Iranian nationals are typically interested in property ranging from £1 million to £30 million in upscale neighbourhoods such as South Kensington, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, St. John’s Wood and Hampstead.

Canada

In 2017, the United States prohibited the nationals of eight countries, including Iran, from entering its territory. This may be one of the reasons why many Iranians are its neighbour Canada, which despite having closed the Iranian consulate, does not restrict the entry of Iranian nationals to its territory.

“There are a lot of Iranian investors in Toronto. About 65,000 Iranians, almost two-thirds of the national expat community in Canada, live there. Their demand for property is high – the second highest after China”, Natalia Sheyman, Royal LePage Your Community representative, says. “Iranians invest in different types of property, depending on their capabilities. Development is especially popular. They often buy old houses with land plots, replacing those with new-builds”, she added.

Turkey

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, Iranian nationals closed 792 property transactions in Turkey in 2017 (3.5% of all foreign purchases), which is 19% more than in 2016. However, according to Maria Zharaya, head of Tranio Turkey, the Iranian demand for Turkish property has not changed in the past month.

“A year ago, due to the political instability in Turkey and the subsequent decrease in the number of Russian buyers, Turkish agents were happy to work in alternative markets, including Iran. But since the situation has stabilised, most agencies are focusing on Russian-speaking clients. This is due to the particularities of Iranian buyers: transactions often fall through and difficulties often arise, Ms Zharaya says. “In Turkey, Iranian nationals prefer to buy two-bedroom or three-bedroom apartments up to $100,000 in value, in residential complexes far from the sea”.

According to Knight Frank, between 2016 and 2026 the number of dollar millionaires in Iran will grow by 40% to 48,400. All of them will need a reliable capital maintenance vehicle such as foreign real estate. Real estate agency Rokstone is expecting Iranian buyers with at least $30 million in assets to spend about $8 billion on foreign property during this period.

Yulia Kozhevnikova, Tranio

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