Emerging from an exceptionally dramatic 20th Century, the Russian city of St Petersburg has become a 21st Century centre of financial wealth and cultural beauty. Boasting numerous picturesque islands, criss-crossing waterways and an impressive three hundred bridges, its occasional nickname of the ‘Venice of the North’ is undoubtedly well deserved.
With renovation currently being undertaken across the city, numerous international corporations, banks and businesses are relocating to this re-established global power. Cultural sites such as The Hermitage, one of the world’s largest art museums, continue to attract an elite class of traveller, and it seems that the former glory of the city first built by Peter the Great to rival the elegant capitals of Europe is fast returning.
This sterling reputation is not only driving a thriving tourism market, but also a prestigious real estate one, as many professionals decide in invest in local property. Joerg Book, CEO of Engel & Völkers Residential GmbH, observed that, “the Russian real estate market is a very fast growing market. Russians are currently considered very affluent clientele: with four of our five E&V top deals in 2007, the buyers were Russians.” This new wealth ensures that the flow of business goes both ways, with many nationals seeking prestigious properties both at home and abroad, investing in second residences throughout Europe and America.
In such a historic city as St Petersburg, the potential for new luxury builds is strictly limited. This inevitably makes demand for properties in certain areas particularly high, with the market moving quickly to snap up any exciting new offers.
The most celebrated and sought-after part of St Petersburg is the so-called ‘Golden Triangle,’ situated in the historical centre of the city with the Neva River to the north and the Nevsky Prospect to the south. Home to a number of parks and historic buildings including the notable Hermitage museum, Smolniy Kathedrale and the impressive St Isaac’s Cathedral, it is both the most historic and well-connected area of the city, making properties here particularly desirable.
To the west of the Golden Triangle is Vasilevsky Island, which is connected to the mainland via the iconic Palace and Blagoveshchensky Bridges. The former palace of Peter II of Russia and the baroque St Andrew’s Cathedral lie on the eastern side of the island, where a number of high class luxury properties can be found, making it an esteemed location for potential real estate buyers.
One of the quieter areas becoming popular with families is Krestovskiy und Kamenny Islands. Located in the Neva delta it is a wooded island with plenty of greenery, wooded parks and ponds. Much of the Russia’s new wealth is now resident on the island in the grand houses and luxury estates, such as the 20th century Neoclassicism mansion the Polovtsov mansions. This gives it a quiet residential atmosphere that’s notably different to the bustling city centre.
With the economic wealth of the area set to continue to thrive, the prospects for St Petersburg remain high. To capitalise on these favourable markets by making a property investment of your own, visit the Engel & Völkers website. Our local agents are experts on both Russian and international real estate, so you can rest assured that they’ll help to find the right property for you.