Has the collapse of the Russian economy finally hit the super-rich? Sumptuous palaces owned by oligarchs begin to appear on Moscow's property market for £70million

January 5, 2015 10:40 AM

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It looks like a glittering golden palace fit for a Russian tsar, and its appearance on the Moscow property market is perhaps a sign of the crisis facing the super-rich amid the rouble's collapse.

With nine sumptuous bedrooms, Baroque-style living areas and two swimming pools - as well as being decorated with gold throughout - this home looks almost too lavish for royalty.

Chandeliers hang from the ceilings and every room is fitted with exclusive custom-made ornate furniture, with the mansion sitting amid towering pine trees in its own 97 acres.

But all this luxury comes at a price, with only billionaire oligarchs - many of whom have suffered mega losses due to the rouble fall - likely to be able to afford the hefty $109 million (£70 million) price tag.

Located in Russia's 'Beverley Hills', it is described by estate agents as being 'in the style of the country estates of the European aristocracy'.

In its sales material Sotheby's International Realty states: 'The interiors are reminiscent of Baroque palaces.

The 'golden palace' is located in the prestigious Rublyovka suburb in Moscow, where A-listers reside and property prices are some of the highest in the world.

The three-storey main residence, which has similarities to a modern French chateau, has 2,300 square metres of living space.

Inside, the bedrooms are particularly notable, with each one dripping in gold and decorated in a different style. Some feature four-poster beds, while others boast expensive works of art on the walls, but all resemble presidential suites in luxury hotels.

One of the main living areas contains a grand piano, while the spa and massage zone has hints of Arabia about its decor. Swimmers taking advantage of the larger indoor swimming pool will notice the Sistine Chapel-esque painting on the ceiling.

The mansion comes completely fully-furnished, with some of the pieces made by European cabinet makers.

Rublyovka, in pleasant woodland on one side of the Moscow River, became a Russian equivalent of Beverley Hills in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The western suburb quickly became home to billionaire oligarchs, showbusiness stars, government officials and industry tycoons.

As well as expensive properties, the area also boasts exclusive boutique shops and sports clubs frequented by the rich and famous.

As an indication of the exclusivity of the neighbourhood, the golden palace is not even the most expensive on the market, with others commanding higher prices.

Ilya Menzhutov, director of the elite real estate company Metrium Grupp, said: 'It is by far not the most expensive house in Rublyovka.

'As of today, there is at least two houses that outrun the mansion in price. One of them is $130million (£85million) and the other is $150 million (£98million).

Estate agents in Moscow are divided on how well such homes will sell at the moment, particularly amid the rouble crisis and Russia's slide towards recession.

In its November review on the premium market, before the latest slump, IntermarkSavills suggested that the fall of the currency was becoming critically important.

After its collapse, the official rate is around 60 roubles to the dollar. Many estate agents are now advertising their prices in dollars - or setting a fixed rate of 37 to 45 roubles to the dollar, said Nina Reznichenko, the head of suburban real estate department at IntermarkSavills.

'Clients have also reacted to such dramatic changes almost immediately: negotiations are getting longer, and the majority of purchases are made in below $2million segment.'.

Tweed estate agents say the buyers of the most expensive properties have been put off by the currency problems.

Just a few miles away in Moscow's supermarkets, the nation's economic woes take a very different form - with shelves stripped bare thanks to economic sanctions.

Russia has banned cheese imports from nations which are imposing sanctions - including Germany, the Netherlands, France, Poland and Lithuania - and chicken imports from the U.S. amid growing international tension over its involvement in Ukraine.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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