The Russians associate ownership of an apartment with a high level of prosperity

2 august 2017 | Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Housing construction in Russia continues to decline, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes with a reference to Rosstat. In the first half of this year only 28 million square meters were commissioned in the country, which is 11.3 % less than in the same period of 2016. By the end of the year, the Ministry of Construction expects about 75 million. But to provide roof over the heads of all people in need, it is necessary to build twice as much every year. The journalists of the newspaper have discussed with specialists some reasons for the reduced commissioned volumes and the conditions of living of the Russians.

Alexander Golyashev
Alexander Golyashev
Department for Research Studies

According to the latest data of Rosstat, one Russian, on average, now owns slightly above 24 square meters of housing area. It is interesting that most of the housing stock (more than 90 %) is owned by the residents of our country. This is a differential feature of Russia as opposed to Europe and the USA where many people prefer to rent square meters rather than own them. For example, in Greece this number is 74 %, 68.3 % in the USA, and 56 % in France, and in Denmark it is even below 50 %.

"The high level of owned dwelling in Russia is firstly explained by the mass privatization in the 1990s," Alexander Golyashev, an expert of the Analytical Center, explained. Since that time, availability of an owned apartment or even a house is strongly associated with the high level of prosperity of a person or a family, and this belief is carefully supported by developers' advertising brochures.

"At the same time, crises which take place once in ten years and especially depreciation of the ruble confirm the rightness of those who use real estate to preserve their savings."

"A dream shared by most European citizens is a house of their own, while any apartment, which is primarily necessary to dwell as close to the place of work as possible, is usually rented," the expert said. "The population of the western countries, especially the young population is usually more mobile compared to the Russian population, in terms of employment, among other things: to find a new job, the Europeans or Americans can easily move to another city even if it is located in a distant part of their country, while an owned apartment is only a hindrance," Mr. Golyashev said.

In addition to the above, in terms of the blessings of civilization, the percent of dwelling with, for example, water supply, in the USA and Europe exceeds 85-90 %. In this country, this index is just slightly above 77 %.

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Picture from open sources