Russian property buyers show rapid growth of interest to British investor visas, says Knight Frank

25 February 2014

The demand from Russian property buyers in London for valuation of property intended for British investor visa purposes has nearly tripled over the last 3 months, according to Knight Frank. Such activity of Russian investors is considered abnormal and can be due to the anxiety caused by the prospective toughening of the procedure of receiving investor visa or its complete abolishment in April, 2014.

Olga Kochetova, Head of Valuation, Knight Frank, says: “The valuation of property is normally done for 4 main reasons: debt financing, which is the most commonly requested type of valuation on the Russian market, finance statement preparation, entry in the books, and valuating residential property for private owners. The share of the requests of valuation for receiving British investor visas dropped slightly in 2010 as compared to 2008/2009, grew significantly over 2011, and recorded a rapid growth (by 2.5 times) over the last 3 months, which could be attributed to prospective raise of entry threshold up to £10m for getting a British residence permit or abolishment of such an application opportunity, which has been discussed by the British Government since the beginning of 2013.”

As of today, a residence permit based on investor activity can be issued for 5 years to someone who has invested over £1m into the British economy and his or her immediate family including underage children. Such visitors can apply for UK citizenship further on.