From January to March 2023, the volume of new housing launches in Russia amounted to 10 million square meters, an increase of almost 20% compared to the first three months of 2022. At the same time, in April, developers began to build 4.2 million square meters of real estate, which is 56% more than the value of the same period last year. Such data on Thursday, May 25, was published by specialists of the company "DOM.RF".

"If this dynamics of launches continues, then by the end of 2023 the market may reach a record level of 50 million square meters," Maria Zholobova, head of the housing research department at the DOM.RF analytical center, did not rule out.

According to experts, the positive dynamics is partly due to the relatively low rates of launching housing projects in 2022. Then, against the backdrop of geopolitical and economic instability, developers paused large investments in the construction of new buildings, Artyom Deev, head of the analytical department at AMarkets, told RT.

"In the spring of 2022, uncertainty forced developers to take their time with new projects. Now they have given the green light to everything that was stopped during that period. As a result, in March and April 2023, the number of facility launches exceeded the average monthly levels over the past two years. This means that the market is on the rise," the expert emphasized.

To a certain extent, the interest of citizens in buying housing is fueled by various programs with state support, analysts say. In particular, family mortgages have recently shown the greatest efficiency. This opinion was expressed in a conversation with RT by the vice-president of the International Academy of Mortgage and Real Estate Irina Radchenko.

"Now every second preferential loan is issued under this initiative, and the demand for it is only growing. Previously, mortgage conditions for families with children were significantly expanded, which further encouraged citizens to invest in real estate. At the same time, the interest rate on this type of loan is lower than the market average, which makes the purchase of an apartment more profitable, "the analyst emphasized.

The initiative involves the issuance of loans at a preferential rate of 6% per annum (5% for residents of the Far Eastern Federal District). You can apply for a loan on special terms if the child was born after January 1, 2018 or if the family is raising a child with a disability. The program can also be used by families where at least two children have not reached the age of majority.

In addition, today preferential mortgages are available for Russians, under which all residents of the country have the opportunity to apply for a loan for the purchase of real estate at a reduced rate of 8% per annum. Both programs provide for the issuance of mortgages for the purchase of finished housing from a developer or an apartment in a facility under construction, for the construction of a private house on their own or under a contract agreement, as well as for the purchase of land for the construction of cottages, cottages or townhouses. At the same time, a family mortgage allows residents of the Far Eastern Federal District to buy a secondary property.

You can take a preferential or family mortgage with a loan of up to 12 million rubles in the Moscow and St. Petersburg agglomerations and up to 6 million rubles in other regions of the country. At the same time, citizens can take loans in the amount of up to 30 million and 15 million rubles, respectively, but the subsidized rate will apply only to amounts up to 12 million and 6 million.

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Meanwhile, the Russian authorities do not rule out the introduction of additional measures to support the real estate market. In particular, the government is discussing the possibility of providing assistance to regions with low-margin construction, as well as the expansion of bonus programs for families with children. This was told in an exclusive interview with RT by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin.

"We are considering the issue of selling housing in installments, but there are a number of legal issues that need to be finalized. We are also studying the possibility of creating savings and loan banks. That is, this is an additional set of tools that we are preparing," the Deputy Prime Minister explained.

Price Balance

According to preliminary data from Rosstat, prices in the primary housing market in Russia in the first quarter of 2023 decreased by 0.6% compared to the previous quarter. Typical apartments in new buildings fell in price by 0.5% (to 115.6 thousand rubles per 1 sq. m.), and apartments of improved quality fell by 0.8% (to 127.1 thousand per 1 sq. m). At the same time, luxury housing rose in price by 1.1% (up to 292.4 thousand rubles per 1 sq. m).

"Currently, there is high competition in the market between construction companies for the client. In order to sell apartments more quickly, developers hold promotions, arrange sales, make personal discounts and interesting offers. Now the conditions are in favor of the buyer, "said Pavel Segal, first vice-president of the All-Russian Public Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Opora Russia, in an interview with RT.

The dynamics of the cost of square meters in Russia until the end of this year will largely depend on the geopolitical situation, Irina Radchenko believes. According to her, if additional sanctions are not imposed and the economic situation does not deteriorate dramatically, real estate prices may remain at current values.

"The same jump in prices as in the previous few years, most likely, should not be expected. But there will be no sharp decline in the cost of housing to the levels of 2019 either. Against the backdrop of rising inflation, construction costs and loan servicing costs have increased for developers. Thus, prices for some objects may decrease, but it is too early to talk about a steady downward trend," the expert concluded.