Ukraine News from an American Expatriate July 10, 2014

Gerald, I am an American living permanently in
Odessa, Ukraine since 2009. Unlike eastern
Ukraine, all has been quiet in Odessa since the
“massacre by fire” perpetrated by the
Right-Sector. However, the Ukraine currency (UAH
or “Greev-na” as it is pronounced) continues to
fall in value daily, having lost about 40% of its
value since the Kiev coup. People are scrambling
to buy dollars and to remove all their deposits
from the banks as quickly as possible. Banks have
placed withdrawal limits on all bank accounts,
including those based on deposits in U.S. dollars.
Prices in Ukraine increase daily on almost everything.

The one item that evidently has NOT seen major
price increases is housing (all homes here are
priced in U.S. dollars). About two years ago my
wife and I had a new house built for ourselves
near Simferopol, Crimea. Except for the
installation of various appliances, the house is
complete – so we intend to move very soon. What
surprised me greatly was that when I queried
several Odessa realtors about a potential sale
price for our Odessa apartment, we were told that
prices were flat. And we are a 5-minute drive from
two fantastic beaches! On the other hand, during
our frequent visits to my wife’s parents in
Simferopol, Crimea, we were asked by several
realtors if we wished to sell our newly built
house – for prices more than DOUBLE the cost we
paid to build it.

Apparently there is an unreported “great
migration” of people – at least of people with
sufficient money and other assets – from southern
and eastern Ukraine into Crimea taking place,
thereby driving up housing prices throughout
Crimea. Another “unintended consequence” for the
U.S. government and the IMF ???

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