High end estate agency Savills says the imposition of sanctions on Russians, amid new measures obliging overseas buyers to be more transparent about their wealth, will have little effect on the prime London housing market.
Mark Ridley, chief executive of Savills, says the company;’s own figures suggest 1.4 per cent of the housing wealth in prime central London is Russian owned,, while under 0.1 per cent of the agency’s own business came from Russia.
Earlier this week Savills said in relation to its own activities within Russia: “Savills is appalled by the scenes of humanitarian tragedy which are unfolding across Ukraine, has already made significant donations to humanitarian relief agencies working in the Ukraine and neighbouring countries to help alleviate this suffering and is supporting those of its people who are personally affected.”
Ridley’s comments come alongside Savills’ latest trading statement, which show record sales and profits for 2021.
The company – which operates in the commercial and consultancy fields around the world as well as selling high-end homes in some of the globe’s wealthiest countries – saw revenue rise 23 per cent last year to £2.1 billion.
Profits more than doubled to £183m and dividends included a special payment to shareholders to compensate for a cancelled payout at the start of the pandemic.
Ridley says it is “a thank you to shareholders who supported us”.
He adds: “Savills delivered a record performance in 2021 reflecting the significant recovery in both residential and commercial transactional markets supported by growth in our less transactional investment management, property management and consultancy businesses.
“The group has started 2022 in line with our expectations and the strength of our balance sheet supports our growth strategy to pursue further complementary acquisitions and significant recruitment across our global business.”