TEHRAN (Reuters) – Negar Ehteshami just paid the equivalent of $6 million in rials in cash for a luxurious apartment. But it is not in New York or London. It is in the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“I am a millionaire because of this 300-square-metre apartment,” said Ehteshami, a 56-year-old interior designer from a rich Iranian family who has always lived in an affluent northern Tehran neighborhood.
“But nothing else in my life resembles the life of a millionaire,” she said, moving her Hermes handbag out of the way as she closed the window of her apartment.
“Here I feel (as though) I am inside a helicopter. I can see the whole city.”
Hers is a tale with echoes in much of the West: a house price surge fuelled partly by easy lending. In Iran, however, people are still being priced out of the market.
Mansour Bagheri, a businessman living in Germany since 1980, hopes to make a fortune from this business model.