Market news

The government puts things in order in housing

Government is focusing on markets of mortgages and rental housing.

The meeting of the Presidium of the presidential Council of the Russian Federation for strategic development and priority projects took place on 19 Oct 2016 in Gorki (Moscow region). One of the discussion items of the meeting was the issue of development of mortgage lending and the formation of a civilized market of rental housing in the country.

In early 2015, the Russian government launched a program to support mortgage lending, which was aimed at help to the construction industry to cope with falling sales of new housing. Its essence lies in the government subsidizing interest rates on mortgages, sharply increased in that period. In Agency for housing mortgage lending (AHML) it is expected that this program will give a 550’000 loans at 1 trillion rubles until the end of 2016. It should be noted that the relevant Ministry is satisfied with the implementation of the program of preferential mortgage and believes it has fulfilled its task. In this regard, 2017 government support of the mortgage market will undergo changes. Now Ministry discusses two options for extending the program. One of them foresees the changes in the interest rate, and the second is the extension only for certain categories of citizens or programs. In turn AHML offers to issue mortgage bonds, which will reduce mortgage rates by means of additionally attracted funds. In addition, the Agency proposes to make the transfer to electronic documents, which reduces the costs of banks and will result in a decrease in mortgage rates. The use of these forms of support should enable the government to meet the objectives in this market – the growth in the number of mortgage loans 700’000 in 2015 to 1 million in 2018 and up to 1.2 million in 2020.

Another priority project of the government in the housing sector is the creation and development in Russia of a new market – rental housing market. Today, a civilized market of rental housing in the country is about 1 million m2 of residential space, whereas in USA this figure reaches 40 million apartments, or 30% of the total housing stock. On pilot projects in this field AHML plans to allocate 18 billion rubles by 2018 and 20 billion rubles till 2020 Only, the Agency plans to raise 100 billion rubles and to build up to 2021 hundreds of thousands of square meters of housing. First of all this housing will appear in major cities, in places of business activity next to the construction companies. Also AHML created a closed mutual investment real estate Fund, which will allow attracting additional funds from private investors. In turn Ministry considering the possibility of state subsidies of loans for builders of rental housing.

Sources: Russian Government, Kommersant, Kommersant, Kommersant.