A photo: Ivan MAKEEV
Housing affordability in Russia decreased for the second year in a row. Moreover, if in the first quarter of 2021 the average Russian family for an apartment of 60 sq.m. it was necessary to save at least 4.7 years, then in the first quarter of 2022 – already a year more, 5.7 years.
These are the conclusions from the housing affordability rating, which is compiled annually by RIA Novosti. Availability is calculated as follows. It is assumed that some average family of three (two adults who receive average salaries in the region, and a child) tightens its belts tightly and spends no more than the regional subsistence minimum on life. And everything else is set aside for the purchase of an apartment in the secondary market, without a mortgage. It is unlikely that anyone will actually do this. But the nature of trends and, so to speak, potential opportunities, such calculations make it possible to trace.
In the best position, judging by the results of the study, the inhabitants of the “northers” rich in resources. AT Magadan region and Yamal-Nenets In an autonomous district, it is necessary to save, subject to the conditions indicated above, only a little more than two years. And the most inaccessible housing is in Kabardino-Balkaria and Sevastopol (see “Rating”).
Moscow in the ranking at 32nd place (if you count, starting with those where housing is the most affordable). But the trends in the capital are the same as the average for Russia – the availability of purchases is decreasing. Based on the level of salaries and the cost of housing in the first quarter of 2021, a Muscovite had to save 6.8 years. In 2022, it will be 7.1 years. In the Moscow region, respectively – 6.1 and 6.4 years. The average cost of a secondary apartment is 60 sq. m., the purchase of which was calculated by analysts, in Moscow at the beginning of 2022 was no less than 14.9 million rubles, in the Moscow region (not to be confused with the neighboring Moscow region) – 5.9 million.
Why is housing affordability declining? In general, the answer is clear: in the last couple of years, apartment prices have grown incomparably faster than citizens’ incomes, both in Russia as a whole and specifically in Moscow.
– Against the background of the pandemic and low mortgage rates, housing prices rose by 30-40% in Moscow, and in some regions – by 40-50%. It is obvious that such a rise in prices has led to a decrease in effective demand, – the vice-president of the Russian Guild of Realtors commented on the situation to Kp.ru Konstantin Aprelev.
The main question is what’s next? Logic suggests that if people do not have money for apartments, housing should still start to get cheaper. But in practice, this is still somehow not very noticeable.
– In the secondary market since April in many regions there has been a correction of offer prices (these are those that you see in the ads for sale – Ed.). And the prices of real transactions (and these are the ones at which it is possible to sell an apartment in the end – Ed.) Are increasingly different from the offer prices. If before that the gap was 2-3%, now it is 5-10%, – Aprelev explains. – Compared to the crisis of 2014-15, the housing market there has fallen by 15% in a year and a half. But on the eve of 2014, there was no significant increase in house prices – unlike in 2020-21. And with jobs and incomes of the population, things can now turn out to be significantly worse than in 2015. Therefore, the rollback may be more. Forecasts of most analysts – up to 20% on the secondary for a year and a half. This is true for Moscow, and even more so for Russia as a whole – economic trends are common. New buildings are more difficult. But here is a characteristic detail. If earlier there were no free apartments at the stage of putting the house into operation – everything was already sold out before, now they are in a large number of residential complexes. This is an indicator that demand for new buildings is also falling and prices will have to decline. So far, developers are keeping prices, but they compensate by subsidizing mortgage rates for their buyers.
Where is the fastest way to save money for an apartment?
1. Magadan region – 2.3 years
2. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug – 2.4 years
3. Nenets Autonomous Okrug – 3 years
4. Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug – 4.2 years
5. Komi – 4.2 years
Where to put off the longest
1. Kabardino-Balkaria – 17.7 years
2. Sevastopol – 16.1 years
3. Crimea – 15.8 years
4. Chechnya – 14.7 years
5. Altai Territory – 14.5 years
On average in Russia – 5.7 years
(Data from a RIA-Novosti study)