Russians Rush to Sell “Trophy” Properties after Ruble Hits Freefall

With the price of oil tanking and the ruble getting pummeled, high-end real estate brokers in Miami and other major cities have been losing some of their best customers. Some Russian buyers are desperate to get out of theirs that they are willing to sell at a loss. In recent years, Russian buyers have been responsible for some of the flashiest purchases in Miami. For example, the most expansive home in Miami’s history sold for $47 million in 2012 to an unidentified Russian buyer. Historically, Russians have viewed the United State’s real estate market as a safe investment. Russians began shying away right after the Russian government tightened its currency restrictions, making it difficult for Russian nationals to move large sums of money out of the country. The New York Observer wrote that many Russian buyers now feel that they are unable to close on these properties due to the crashing ruble. Others may be looking to liquidate their existing holdings, or place the units on the rental market immediately after...

Wealthy Chinese Immigrants Max Out EB-5 Visas

  For decades, the EB-5 visa program has been a gateway for wealthy foreign investors to immigrate to the land of milk and honey, the US. Now, the program has so many people applying to it, that for the first time in over two decades, EB-5 visas have been capped. State department officials recently announced that they are capping the program and no more EB-5 visas will be issued until the fiscal year 2015, which begins in October. They also revealed that a few procedural changes have been planned for the program, which might further delay the granting of visas. If the changes come in, the time taken to get a EB-5 visa may go up from just months at present to two or three years. EB-5 visas, an opportunity to start a new life Immigrants, willing to invest $500,000 to $1 million in the US are eligible to get a EB-5 visa. If the applicant can prove that his investment has led to the creation of at least 10 jobs in the US, then he is also eligible for a green card, which gives him permanent residency. The US issues 10,667 EB-5 visas every year. Since 2009, the number of people vying for a slice of the EB-5 pie has increased exponentially, doubling almost every year. Almost 85 percent of the funds that have come in though the EB-5 program are from Chinese immigrants. The delays are bad news for the immigrants because now they are going to have a hard time getting visas and green cards for their dependents. Many of these immigrants are motivated by the...