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Luxury Moscow apartments trade briskly amid global slump

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MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow's luxury housing market seems to be unaffected by the ongoing financial crisis, which has sent house prices plummeting around the world, an estate agent said Tuesday.

A 2.5-billion-ruble ($99-million) townhouse apartment in the heart of Moscow advertized by property firm Agent 002 has aroused brisk interest among clients.

"Phone calls about the property keep coming in," an agency spokesman said. "Several potential buyers - those who are seriously considering the purchase - have surfaced already."

The seven-story, 1,300-square-meter apartment located close to the Kremlin has its own swimming pool, a winter garden and a children's floor.

The spokesman suggested the apartment would go in about two months, the average period required to sell luxury homes in the Russian capital, where the market has been spurred by windfall oil revenues and growing consumer prices.

In a news release Friday, the agency highlighted a trend since mid-August of increasing sales for the most expensive apartments.

A leading analyst with Agent 002 said the demand could be due to the ongoing stock market volatility and liquidity problems facing companies.

"I think a price of 2.5 billion rubles is not the limit for Moscow, and even more expensive property could be offered for sale in the near future," Tatyana Makeyeva was quoted saying in the news release.

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