Payment options when buying real estate in UA 2019?

Hello Expats,

I been looking for an apartment but found out that the payment process are quite complicated. In the normal way I would pay for the apartment in UAH via a bank transfer. In the practical world no seller wants to get paid in UAH but USD.

The problem is that I can not transfer my USD to the sellers USD account within UA banks. Its auto converted to UAH. 

So its a little bit complicated to carry around $50K to make a cash payment.

Can any expats please share their experiences when buying apartment in UA? How did you practically pay?

Hi, it is a common problem that has existed for years. But this year some of the foreign currency limitations were liberalized and now, in theory, you can pay in USD from your overseas account to the seller's account in USD.

If to be short, your seller opens a USD account at a bank in Ukraine; you open a so called "investment" bank account in the same bank; you transfer money from your overseas account to your investment account and from there you transfer directly to the seller's account.

I do not think that many have tried this already as this is a very new change in law but the only thing you need is just to discuss this with a bank of your seller's account. If they do not know how to do this, then find a bank that is more openminded. If communication with banks does not work out, let me know, I can talk to the management of several banks.

Let me also kindly suggest you reading 2 useful peaces of information on real estate purchases:
1) http://lawyer-advises-how-to-live-in-uk … ments.html
2) http://lawyer-advises-how-to-live-in-uk … ll-or.html

Thanks for your input Grey. And thanks for the links.

Do you recommend Bank Aval?

You are welcome!
It does not matter which bank. If you know someone from Aval or your seller has already an account there, then yes - talk to Aval first.
From my personal experience, I like Credit Agricole, they think out of the box.

Everything would be much easier if you could pay with UAH via a normal bank transfer, Its a shame it has to be so complicated.

Agree, but sellers do not want to take these risks. Hryvnia is not stable and sadly we had such cases multiple times already.

I understand. But I am thinking that if the seller gets his money in UAH he can buy USD or whatever he wants with his money the same day, right?

In theory yes. But I am not sure that it is easy to buy so much USD. Usually, banks do not have so many USD in cash... Anyway and by the way, it is a common practice in real estate transactions to ask for a discount when you pay in USD.

How much discount can you ask?

It is a bargain, there is no some rule.
My client leases out his apartment. He agreed on a UAH 1500 discount in exchange for being paid in USD.

Sorry for many questions. You mentioned:

"If to be short, your seller opens a USD account at a bank in Ukraine; you open a so called "investment" bank account in the same bank; you transfer money from your overseas account to your investment account and from there you transfer directly to the seller's account."

Is this possible? I understand no USD transfers are possible within Ukraine banks?

No problem:)
Yes, it is possible for foreigners (non-residents). It means that it is still NOT possible for transactions between Ukrainians or between Permanent Resident Permit holders.
If you got a Permanent Resident Permit, then, unfortunately, it is not possible.
But if you are under a temporary residence in Ukraine, then yes - you can pay in USD.

Hello Sanja7,

I would like to know if you did it with invest account and how was your experience.

I like to do the same and I am looking for a bank. I allready found some banks and there are willing but experience is still missing.

I found 2 banks who would do it. To withdraw so much cash in one day makes them not very happy. They ask to split it.

The other point is that they ask for a letter of my bank where they explain how I did this money. I mean how my bank should know this.

Maybe you found a Bank which is more easy. I need a Bank in Odessa. The owner is ver old and will for sure not go to Kiev to do the payment.


I guess I was lucky because the seller agreed on payment in UAH via Privatbank so that made the process smooth. I just transfer money and converted to UAH through Transferwise direct to my Privatbank account and from there to the sellers PB account.

I started with opening a Investment account in Bank Aval and it worked when i transferred $100 to it but I never tried further from there. There was also a lot of questions wheres the money from and to what they would be used for. I remember that it was complicated and unsure if it was possible to take out the money in cash from it. I still need to claim my $100 bucks some day =)

I would really recommend you to convince the seller to agree on payment in UAH through PB. This made it very easy. If not I think it could be possible to transfer your money to a USD account in any bank and then make a cash withdrawal. Maybe you need to tell them couple of days in advance.