New York City real estate Agents personally sell millions of dollars of real estate through a so-called “whisper list” in fear of further US sanctions against those suspected of being detained by the Russian president. It is flooded with Russian customers trying to do so. Vladimir Putin..
Dolly Lenz, a luxury real estate agent who has been in business in New York City for over 35 years, told FOX Business that her company could “whisper” 50-70 properties, primarily in Manhattan. He said he received a call from a Russian customer. last week.
Most of Manhattan’s properties that may be sold under radar are located in Billionaires’ Row, a set of skyscrapers along the southern tip of Central Park. There are others in West Village, and there are several luxury condos on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
Property values range from $ 5 million to $ 45 million to $ 50 million in asking prices, but depending on how the seller is suffering, sales may be much less rushed.
“Depends on sanctions”
“Everyone is tentacled. They haven’t triggered yet. They are preparing to trigger. That is,” Yes, I’m whatever the best product can get me. Take, “Lentz told the FOX business this week. “That can be a problem. Depending on the sanctions, we actually know where we are, so that’s all we can see.”
According to Lentz, other Russian owners contacted her from states other than New York, such as California and Florida. Here, potential sellers are in North Miami and Fischer’s Island. Soviet Union.
As Putin continues to invade Ukraine, President Biden’s Justice Department has launched a new task force, Creptocapture. Yachts and private jets worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Last week, Manhattan Mayor Mark Levine asked the US Treasury to add his name to the US sanctions list so that he could seize more real estate in New York City related to Russia’s oligarchy. Through the current loopholes in the law, these oligarchs are allowed to transfer wealth to family and friends without retaliation. According to the human rights group Global Witness, it is estimated that at least $ 12 trillion is hidden in offshore accounts. In New York City alone, full accounting for real estate holdings is worth more than $ 1 billion, Levine said.
Even among the Russian elite, there are concerns about access to bank account funds as major Wall Street financial institutions have cut off their ties with Moscow.
In neighboring New Jersey, Democratic Governor Phil Murphy signed a bipartisan law on Wednesday as a way to prevent Putin’s “clone” from securing contracts, tax cuts, and even enforcement. Transactions with states that have cleared the national treasury to create a list of people and companies investing in Russia or Belarus.
The so-called whisper list means that the owner contacts the realtor, personally contacts the potential buyer of Rolodex, and measures the amount he is willing to pay. Whisperlists give sellers a sense of privacy by officially listing properties for sale, handling paperwork, and not publishing photos of their assets online instead of publishing their asking prices. add.
“It’s much more complicated and time consuming and leaves a strange taste in the buyer’s mouth about why we’re doing it this way? Why is this whisper listed?” Lenz mentioned processing the list under radar. “Everyone wants to trade, especially in these times, but they are very modest in jumping in.”
Lenz said she can only talk about 50-70 Russian-owned real estate that her company deals with, but that’s not the only luxury real estate that has hit the Manhattan market suddenly.
A second real estate source told FOX Business that at least 61 properties were for sale, or that prices were updated or other changes were made at Central Park South.
Central Park South is a microneighborhood just three blocks along 59th Avenue between Fifth Avenue and Columbus Circle, and has long attracted wealthy Russians and other international investors. One Central Park South, a well-known plaza, has at least 16 new or updated lists since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th.
Prices for these properties typically range from $ 1 million to $ 28 million.
This does not mean that all new or updated lists are owned by the Russians. If Russian owners are building real estate at very good value to ensure faster than average moves, it could encourage other sellers to line up and compete with new prices. Sources said.
Manhattan’s luxury real estate market has long relied on foreign investment. According to Lentz, she was in the business and was the first Japanese to arrive in the 1980s trying to buy a luxury property. She said she even bought the property around the Museum Tower, even at the Bank of Japan.
Then, about 10 to 15 years ago, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, wealthy Russians flooded New York City, mostly buying real estate around Billionaireslow and old luxury buildings in the same neighborhood.
Since then, Russians have become less frequent customers in the luxury real estate market in New York City. And in recent years, the influx of wealthy buyers from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong has increased.
“They’re a little quieter,” Lenz said of the influx of wealthy Russian buyers. “And they just want to liquidate before the crisis, so they’re just there now.”
“Obviously not everyone is telling you everything they think, so if you ask me to guess, they shouldn’t,” she added. “I think they are more afraid of what will happen in the future than they have absolute knowledge of what will happen in the future. They are trying to anticipate it.”
At the New York level, two Democratic lawmakers, Senator Brad Wheelman and Emily Gallagher, representing Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively, aim to fight “the secret pattern of real estate investment in New York City” last week. Introduced the law. Buying luxury homes through the use of New York LLC by the elite through anonymous LLC and the wealthy Russian citizens of New York. ”
The bill requires LLC to disclose its owners to the New York State Department and creates a public database in which LLC shares common ownership. It claims that an anonymous LLC landlord has caused code violations in the Hudson Valley for years, prompting a 2019 State Senate investigation and unnecessarily delaying tens of thousands of pandemic-era rental aid applications. doing.
However, it is unclear whether the proposed law will gain any traction, as it is a common practice to use LLC to buy luxury real estate.
“Every buyer we’ve created so far has created a new LLC for every property. I think the majority of wealthy people are buying LLC for every reason in the world.” Said Lenz. “We welcome the transparency of all transactions. We personally go to extra places to see who we are dealing with. For real estate (know the client) There are no rules, but banks – you have to scrutinize everyone they talk to – we don’t have to, but we do. ”
“We don’t want to talk to people who find it unpleasant,” she added. “It’s not because they’re uncomfortable, but because they’re afraid to be bound by this situation.”
FOX Business’s Sumner Park contributed to this report.