Peculiarities of domestic realty: What? Where? When?

Peculiarities of domestic realty: What? Where? When?
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The Moscow business club, having changed its format, tried to answer the questions, “What? Where? When?” on the realty market in 2016.The main thing is: Why? And at whose expense?

This year the annual conference of the Moscow business club was held in a new format. The authors said that it was similar to the popular TV show, “What? Where? When?”, but for the realty market.


Instead of traditional speakers, the places at the Presidium table were taken by “proficients” – representatives of the capital development and realty markets, and the authorities. The guests of the event – top managers and leading specialists from the largest realty agencies in Moscow, and analysts in the field of realty business – played the role of TV viewers. There was also a virtual “top” for choosing questions for the experts. And besides this, there were a lot of questions from the audience. A “black box” – a business case with design solutions – was presented by one of the companies. Thus the meeting of the specialists was set up to discuss what is going on with the Moscow realty market and to try solve the problems of said market.

Business class: ”Can’t recognize you…”

Quite a curious phenomenon, the one we are observing: the crisis has revealed a new tendency on the market. Without decreasing prices (and even increasing them), flats have increased their class, quality and status.

— What did the previous generation of business-class flats look like?, asked Leonid Kaprov, Vice-President of the “Gals-development” company, and answers himself: monolite, an open plan and floor-to-ceiling windows - and, of course, location. Business-class houses have always been built in respectable districts closer to the center of the city.

And now the new generation of business-class flats requires an individually tailored architectural design. Of course, floor-to-ceiling windows, a precinct with all necessary relaxation zones, the arrangement of entry elements – designers are often invited to deal with these issues. Bike parking and even electric vehicle charging stations are often included in the project.

— To say nothing of a fitness club, an operating lease center, a supermarket, a laundry, a tailor’s, a tourist agency… the developer adds. And the building itself should be equipped with a water treatment system, central air conditioning, “smart house” systems…

Apartment layouts have also changed. Customers are now offered different apartment floor plans. Premium-class elements have appeared in business-class lodgings: two-level flats, fireplaces, winter gardens, etc. That is, attention paid to the quality of life has changed crucially. Consequently, comfort-class is actively coming closer to business-class in its former format: floor-to-ceiling windows, and open-plan spaces.


Finishing passion

But, alas, the Russian developers’ tenacious unwillingness to commission housing with finishing works against both comfort- and business-class. The developers present at the “show” were pelted with questions about this by realtors.

In fact, why do people live in newly built houses for several years listening to the noise of hammers and drills, and repair work in every flat? All this is because the market offers the so-called ‘shell & core’ condition.

It should be mentioned that this question bewildered even such an experienced developer as the above-mentioned speaker. Here, explanations of the type, “there is a demand for finished flats, and there is a demand for shell & core condition”, won’t do. There is no such thing in the world as “an apartment without finishing”. The house is commissioned absolutely ready.

Leonid revealed the secret of why developers do not want to undertake finishing and decoration work:

— Such work increases the term of a project’s implementation, he reminded us. — As a result, the opportunity to use the money allotted for the construction is delayed, and changing the customary practice now will have a disastrous impact on the construction economy on the whole.

Another reason is that companies working in premium and business segments say that in these segments, finishing the least important factor. That is why the achievement of standards adopted elsewhere in the world has slowed down.

And for those who construct in economy-class, the issue is a very hot one. There is a demand for finishing, and a very big demand! But inertia and foot-dragging do not allow for much progress.

Peculiarities of domestic realty: What? Where? When?

Who is happy in the yard?

At present, the realty market players are interested not only in the interior of the house but in what is around it.

There are developers who want people to be woken up by birdsong, not car horns., developers who invite famous architect Rem Koolhas to share his ideas for the arrangement of small areas: yards, entry areas, and garden squares near the house. They are adopting a new “religion”: “a city for citizens”.

A person spends, at most, 15 minutes a day in the yard of his house – but he should want to spend 2 or 3 hours a day there.

Thus, the “Krost” holding has grown fond of the idea of a “useful yard”. They have carried out a scientific investigation and calculated what functions a yard must have. These are: park culture, sports, education, and a cultural context. And they have implemented all of this in one of the residential areas in Krasnogorsk.

Walking round the yards of the residential complex, one comes across a house-clock, a funny sculpture, multilayer flowerbeds and a real wooden village house for the children to develop their tactile senses.

— This is not just a parade of words, the Deputy Director General of the holding, Marina Rezvova, told the participants of the conference at the business club. We hear much of the tools for a developer to use in the attraction of a customer, and taking care of a new house’s surrounding territory is the best way to attract new owners. Answering the question, “at whose expense is the dinner?”, it is he who will pay for the arrangement of the territory, the expert said sincerely, adding — all this beauty costs only 5% — 8% of the project’s estimated cost.

When the residential complex is put in operation, the maintenance and servicing of multiple flowerbeds, sports grounds, playgrounds, and art objects will cost the residents only 60-65 roubles per square meter per month.

This will be earnt by the local managment company which is to be responsible for the upkeep of the urban land improvement.


«The elite» starts and wins

Elite class housing is in the best condition on the market. The Director General of the “Magistrate” company, Alexei Boldin, said that in the first quarter of 2016, the elite housing segment is doing even better than in the same period of 2015. The share of investment deals is 30%.

— We feel very comfortable in the market of elite housing, the speaker confessed. — The projects are bringing 35% of the whole of the capital’s elite housing market. The main demand is for large and very large apartments (one apartment per floor).

Well, as they say, I really wish we could all live like that!