The plague-stricken jungle: the virus provoked an outflow of residents of the large cities
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The plague-stricken jungle: the virus provoked an outflow of residents of the large cities

11 June , 13:00CityPhoto: Новые Известия
Megacities in Russia have been working as a vacuum cleaner for the past twenty years. They sucked cleanly the workers from the region, pulled in cadres from the province. The virus miraculously breaks a persistent trend. Real estate experts are talking about a boom in the suburban market.

The able-bodied youth is happy to move out of town, sell their apartments.

Julia Suntsova

In self-isolation, employers have revised their attitude to costly offices and are now not averse to leaving workers to the maximum on a distance. For a meeting once a week or corporate event it is more profitable to remove coworking. Even giant enterprises didn’t stand aside from optimization: decrees were issued - employees were asked to put a tick in front of the desired form for further interaction with the management: office, udalenka or 50% to 50%.

White-collar workers, respectively, from the stone jungle go to an environmentally friendly suburb, where they are waiting for their house, which will also accommodate a personal office.

Will megalopolises cease to be points of attraction in the zoom century that has suddenly begun for us, or is it just a temporary side syndrome?

“Demand for the purchase of suburban real estate increased by 20-30% compared to last year. Coronavirus gave rise to an economic crisis, and in a crisis, as a rule, people invest in free real estate in real estate. Families with children who used to spend evenings and weekends in parks or at tourist camps are looking for alternative ways to relax. Summer holidays in resorts, especially foreign ones, are a big question, and the situation may not change in the future for several years. People realized that more than ever, they risk closing foreign trips and are thinking about creating their own cozy nest near the city”, - says Yekaterina Ivanova, president of the Interregional Legal Center for Land Relations.

Some businesses have closed and will never open again, so entrepreneurs are also looking for alternative niches. For the first time in several years, for example, demand for agricultural land has increased, not for the purpose of subsequent transfer to cottage development, but specifically for its intended use. Many as a business have become interested in agriculture, farming and agritourism, the expert says.

The process is only gaining momentum, but one thing is absolutely undeniable: a "new world" is already forming around us. Decentralization, deindustrialization and deurbanization - this is what realities push us into, says Natalia Osetrova, project manager of the resort town of Gatchina Gardens:

“This is neither good nor bad, it's just a new reality, and the comfort of each of us will depend on how quickly we adapt to the challenges. The task of development is to create a product at the request of the buyer. And the buyer from the metropolis today most of all wants to maintain his health, create stability and security around him, to be honest, he is tired of the city, from the stresses and bustle associated with it. But the main thing is that the buyer seriously thought about the future in a global sense. Residents of big cities will inevitably face the transformation of their own attitude to the space around them and, of course, to the living environment. In the "new world" comfortable suburbs of megacities are the main trend. I am sure that there is no turning back”, - says the developer.

Real estate experts draw a portrait of a man who decided to exchange the lights of a big city for pastoral in the era of coronavirus. This is a man of middle age, middle class, has a family with children, sometimes with elderly parents. Basically, he is a worker in trade, finance, industry, or construction, and least of all, he is a representative of science and education, Yelena Ivankina, the head of the department of real estate and housing and communal services at the Institute of Industrial Management of the RANEPA, says.

Leaving Moscow is an average resident of the capital, a family man, basically the decision is made by a man of 30-55 years old, with an income of 100-150 thousand rubles a month. Almost half of them enjoy credit support and almost all couples use maternity capital”, - said Timur Dasayev, head of the Dachny Season construction company.

Not the last motivation for this person was the approved rural mortgage, but now the government is curtailing this program, funding is coming to an end, says Maxim Lazovsky, owner of the Lazovsky House construction company.

Almost always, this person is successful in his professional activity, unique in his own way and very modern. And yet - this is a person passionate, it is interesting to talk with him. Often at meetings in the sales department I hear words of admiration for these new customers, their culture and worldview, Natalia Osetrova emphasizes.

According to real estate agencies, the number of transactions for the sale of suburban real estate since March has quadrupled. The cost of suburban home ownership has also grown - by 15% compared to last year. If in April 2019 the average cost of a house for sale was 13.5 million, then in April 2020 - 16.6 million rubles. The average price for elite suburban real estate in March rose by 32% - and this is an increase in demand in the stagnating market for a long time. The demand for summer cottages in the Moscow region grew by 93%, while rental demand outstrips the demand for sales, says Yelena Ivankina.

Today, there are about 43,000 country houses for sale, 95% of them in the secondary market. Prices depend on the direction and distance from Moscow, the availability and area of the site, the availability of communications.

So, according to MIEL, for example, the cost of a summer house built before 1980, with a plot of 6 acres within 40 km of Moscow, is 1.0-1.5 million rubles. The cost of a new house is up to 70 km from Moscow. Gasification increases the cost by 1 million rubles. The most prestigious destinations are still Rublevo-Uspenskoe (average cost - 90 million rubles), Novorizhskoye (47.5 million) and Minsk highway (21.7 million rubles). The most budgetary ones are Novosovikhinskoye (6.9 million) and Gorky directions (5.8 million rubles).

“The dynamics of audience search queries related to moving out of the city doubled in April 2020 compared with the average annual value of 2019-2020. The frequency of requests for comparing an apartment and a country house in April 2020 increased 2 times compared to March 2020 and 3 times compared to the same period last year. The average check in the suburban segment grew by an average of 10-20%, depending on the format. A new client in suburban real estate is a consumer who has not previously considered the purchase and options for suburban formats. In an epidemic, suburban real estate began to directly compete with city apartments in comparable price segments”, - analyzes marketer, urbanist Yekaterina Ilyinskaya.

At the same time, turnkey ready-made houses with repair and furniture are in greatest demand. Land plots are popular mainly with a minimum check - up to 1 million rubles. - as an affordable alternative to investment. An undervalued asset remains land. New forms of tourism and leisure will be measured by automobile accessibility, and personal comfort and safety, first of all, by the ability to combine work and leisure within a residential unit. Changes in consumer patterns and demand patterns will occur in the medium term. After a systematic fall since the last but one of the economic crisis, the market expects growth again, the expert adds.

A steady increase in demand for summer houses and cottages near Moscow will continue until the end of 2020, believes Maxim Lazovsky.

“We completed the semi-annual plan in one month. For the first time in three years. The market trend is middle-class real estate - from 10 to 17 million rubles. The economy segment up to 5 million rubles is also popular, however, the offer is already limited - buyers have already acquired the best of liquid options. Summer cottages form rental preferences. Prices here have increased significantly. In May, they asked for 10,000 rubles for a house in a village in the Tver region without amenities on the CIAN website, and in the near Moscow region the price starts at 35,000 rubles for half a house in an old summer house fund, and all budget options diverge at an incredible speed”, - notes the expert.

“I would say that we are seeing not so much a boom in sales, but a boom of excursions around country houses. Budget options reach deals. Elite real estate is idle, very cheap summer cottages too - people don’t take them, because they need to invest a lot (to finish, finish building), and buyers want to enter right away, bypassing the chain of builders. The main motive for the purchase is to immediately isolate your families and not wear a mask anymore”, - says realtor Veronika Plekhanova.

“The epidemic and self-isolation doubled our business. The company’s profile is a budget country house (turnkey frame, or from gas silicate blocks for decoration), an area of 130-160 squares. The average bill is about 4 million rubles. Customers began to enter the transaction instantly. If before the buyer “thought about” it took about two months, now the decision is made from several minutes to several days, and many are ready to carry out the transaction at all stages on-line”, - says Timur Dasayev, head of the construction company "Dachnyi Season".

In general, a tendency toward ruleization has been drawn already a couple of years ago, but before the coronavirus, a country house still remained the prerogative of millennials at a distance - they refused to rent cramped Moscow apartments, lived in villages, worked through the Internet or created their own eco-enterprises.

The quarantine has changed the worldview of the masses: many suddenly realized that with the same alternating success, you can work on a remote site. Why then live in an urban bustle, if away from all this you can settle with your whole family in a spacious own house, your savings will also remain. Another factor affecting family clients is the reduced availability of summer vacations. During the worldwide self-isolation, prices for traditional Crimea, Sochi, and Turkey rose sharply. For example, a two-week trip to a family in Turkey in a 5-star hotel reaches 1 million rubles, as I discovered yesterday. It’s easier to buy a country house for 4 million and live there year-round, or use it as a summer residence for many years. The depreciation of the ruble further stimulated people to buy suburban real estate, which is considered more stable capital, the businessman says.

After the epidemic, will people settle in the suburbs or return to the cities?

According to Natalia Osetrovskaya, the diameters around Moscow and St. Petersburg in the near future will be surrounded by commercial, sports, social and recreational infrastructure. Small autonomous agglomerations will form, which will become a full-fledged alternative to the urban jungle.

“The market is moving away from the“ cottage village behind the fence ”scenarios, according to which the capitals lived in the 2000s and were individual sleeping bags with a security point. The business will continue to reorient to remote work, and many employees have already integrated office functions in their living space. In the coming years, we will see an increase in modern and multifunctional suburban projects, which will focus on recreational, business and social resources”, - says the expert.

“In general, taking into account the transport policy and the development of the new ring road, I expect a growth in the suburban real estate market in the near Moscow region. But almost everything here will depend on the support of the Government, which so far is not being implemented at the proper level”, - said Maxim Lazovsky.

“The epidemic field will all return to the city. The same excitement was at the end of 2014, when people, foreseeing the crisis, invested in any affordable illiquid real estate, and then could not sell it in order to buy what they dreamed about. When the danger level drops to the previous level, everything will return to their places, only those clients who will like the country life in principle will become an exception. Over time, maybe we will have villages near megacities, like in Europe, but so far the region has rather poor infrastructure and medical care, and these are components of well-being that hardly can outweigh the fresh air”, - disagrees with colleagues realtor Veronika Plekhanova.

“It is still difficult to say how long the demand for suburban real estate will remain, everything will depend on the speed of economic recovery. In the worst case scenario, it may happen that those who invest in buying a house today have nothing to support it tomorrow”, - says Yekaterina Ivanova.

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