The number of Russian buyers has dropped in the past year or two, but those who already own here are still buying, said Edward Mermelstein, the managing partner of the law firm Rheem Bell & Mermelstein, who has many Russian clients.
“Those who are coming here for the first time are doing so for political reasons,” Mr. Mermelstein said. “There are changes in Russia, cloaked under the guise of ‘anti-corruption reforms.’ So if they are coming today, it is because they are worried what might happen tomorrow.”
Whatever the motivator, international buyers continue to seek out New York as a safe investment, although the days of the $100 million penthouse appear to be on the wane. “There are no more vanity purchases,” Mr. Mermelstein said. “The name of the game now is return.”