Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Latest News

Eastern Europeans buy up property in the West as Putin steps up ‘war on nerves’

Agnes Marciniak-Kostrzewa’s phone won’t stop ringing. She’s been in the property business for 25 years, helping Poles to buy homes on Spain’s southern shores, but the past few months have been “really crazy.”

There are lots of reasons why people might trade the Baltic coast for the Mediterranean. More than three decades after the collapse of communism, Poles are richer than ever before. Many who started businesses in the early 1990s are now looking to retire. And remote work, ushered in by the pandemic, has allowed many to live more rootlessly and opt for warmer climates.

“I experienced two waves of rapidly growing interest in buying properties. The first was in February 2022, immediately after the outbreak of the war. The second has been since February 2024,” Marciniak-Kostrzewa said.

The mood has darkened in recent weeks, as Russia seeks to build on recent battlefield gains, testing for weak spots along the frontlines and pummeling Ukraine’s cities with airstrikes. President Volodomyr Zelensky warned this week that, if the United States Congress fails to approve military aid, Ukraine “will lose the war.”

And the comments of prominent Western figures are causing jitters elsewhere on Europe’s eastern flank. Former US President Donald Trump in February said he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to any NATO member not paying their due. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk last month warned Europe is in a “pre-war era.”

“After Trump’s statement and after Tusk’s interview, we got calls – I don’t even know how many – with people asking if they can come within three days and buy the property, and how long the whole procedure takes to get the keys,” Marciniak-Kostrzewa said.

A record-breaking number of Poles bought property in Spain in 2023, topping the previous record set the year before, according to Polish outlet Bizblog.

Maria Ruiz Lopez, a notary based between Spain and Warsaw, said demand has been “increasing incredibly” since the start of the year.

“Very often, our clients tell us that the reason for which they’re buying real estate is because they’re afraid of the war, they’re afraid of Russia, so they would like to have some place where, eventually, they could leave for fast, if there was such a need,” she said.

Some buy in a slight panic. Lopez said a client last month bought a property because they wanted to avoid being conscripted into the Polish military. Marciniak-Kostrzewa recalled another who, spurred by fears of the war spreading, last month bought an apartment in Spain and asked to rent it out, on the condition that they could access it swiftly if needed. When she explained that removing tenants from a property takes time, the client said: “OK, let’s keep it empty, just in case something will happen.”

Others buy with an eye to their investments. For Wieslaw, a retired Pole in his 70s, the prospect of war coming to Poland is a “black swan:” a low-probability, high-impact event. Still, he wants to hedge his bets.

“When I heard stories of Ukrainian people being forced to leave their country within an hour, taking with them all their belongings, I realized then that all my property is in Poland,” said Wieslaw, who preferred to give only his first name to maintain his privacy. He still lives in Warsaw, but bought a small property in Andalucia, southern Spain. “The trigger, really, was the war in Ukraine.”

Poles may be a special case. After its post-Communist economic “miracle,” more Poles are able to buy second homes abroad than before. And, due to its borders with Ukraine and Belarus, Poles may feel more need to do so.

But other Eastern European countries are also buying in the West. Liivia Illak started her business 20 years ago, mostly selling expensive Spanish properties to clients from her native Estonia. But this year, she’s received more requests than ever – and many of her clients are looking for smaller properties.

“Obviously, we are in NATO, but I must say there’s a big amount of people who are really, really afraid,” she said. This year, she says she has also helped Lithuanians to buy properties in Spain.

The spike in demand comes as Russia has stepped up its “war on nerves,” projecting an image of its own inviolability while Europe appears to dither on matters of its own defense.

In Russia, Putin’s grip on power is tighter than ever after his rule was extended another six years in widely discredited elections and the death of opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

And abroad, Putin is keeping Europe guessing. Missiles heading for Ukraine have strayed into Polish airspace. Belarusian troops – at the Kremlin’s behest – have built up on Poland’s border. Estonia has warned of “shadow war” attacks on its soil. And in Lithuania, one of Navalny’s aides was bludgeoned by a hammer – a message that even home soil is not safe.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News And Articles.






    Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

    You May Also Like

    Editor's Pick

    LIVE OAK, Fla. — President Biden traveled to Florida on Saturday to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia, part of a storm response...

    Stock

    President Biden is asking his Cabinet to ‘aggressively execute’ plans for federal employees to return to their offices for work this fall after years...

    Economy

    Union members at Ford, Stellantis and General Motors have ratified a new 4½-year contract, locking in at 11% pay increases secured after a six-week...

    Stock

    A group of House Democrats penned a letter Thursday to several top Biden administration and White House officials, demanding the immediate continuance of uninterrupted...

    Disclaimer: beneficialinvestmentnow.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively “The Company”) do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.


    Copyright © 2024 beneficialinvestmentnow.com