Russia is the most-active country searching Miami real estate for the first time since the Miami Association of Realtors® (MIAMI) began tracking search data in 2013.
In November, Russia registered the most South Florida property searches among all countries on the Realtor association's search portal. Colombia and Venezuela finished second and third, respectively.
"Miami's emergence as one of the world's top cities is attracting buyers from a greater array of countries than before," says Christopher Zoller, 2017 chair of the Miami association.
The Miami city of Sunny Isles Beach, for example, has a large Russian population and is known as "Little Moscow" for its propensity of Russian-owned delis, restaurants, beauty spas, supermarkets and real estate companies. About 7.4 percent of Sunny Isles residents list Russian as their first language, according to the U.S. Census.
Vladislav Doronin, who owns 7 million square meters of real estate in Moscow, is one Russian developer who has spent significantly on Miami real estate, including paying $54 million for a waterfront two-acre parcel in Edgewater in November 2016.
Some investors see President-Elect Donald Trump's election in November as a sign that relations between Russia and the U.S. may soon improve. The number of Russians who have expressed interest in buying luxury properties in the United States has increased by 35 percent over the previous year after Trump's victory, according to global real estate consultancy Knight Frank.