The U.K. is not usually seen as a prime location for the second homes for the world's rich and famous, but a growing number of Russians are shunning the traditional destinations for real estate on a strip of coastline dubbed "Britain's Palm Beach."
Sandbanks, in Dorset, England, is a small peninsula dotted with glitzy waterside properties - with price tags often running into the tens of millions of dollars. It is widely regarded as the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy property after the upscale parts of New York, London and Tokyo.
Until now, buyers of area's luxury lodgings have mostly hailed from in and around London, but there is increasing interest from overseas – and Russia in particular, according to Tom Doyle, managing director of Lloyds Property Services.
As a result, the Dorset-based real estate agency has opened a branch in Moscow, and hired a Russian employee at one of its U.K. offices to deal with the growing number of inquiries from the country.
"We've had a lot of interest from Russia, and we're expecting a lot more," he told CNBC. "There is no reason whatsoever why Russians - or anyone other wealthy individual - wouldn't want to have their trophy home here in Sandbanks."
Russian multimillionaire petrochemicals trader Maxim Demin was clearly impressed by the area. According to media reports, he spent £5 million ($8 million) on a Sandbanks mansion after buying 50 percent of Bournemouth's soccer club in 2011.