Experts: a ban on the construction of small-sized studios is necessary

The news that Moskomexpertiza announced a ban on the construction of one-room apartments less than 28 sq. m. The events in Moscow, and then the statement by the governor of the Leningrad Region, Alexander Drozdenko, that a similar ban would be introduced in the region in the summer, met with different opinions on the housing market. So, according to Sergey Stepanov, sales director of the Construction Trust Association, this is an update of the standards previously prescribed in the SNIPS, which no one canceled, but not everyone fulfilled. He suggests going further: ban apartments smaller than 33 sq. m. m and set the maximum share of one-room apartments to no more than 10%.

In SP 54.13330.2022 “SNiP 31-01-2003 residential apartment buildings” it is prescribed that apartments in multi-apartment residential buildings should be designed based on the conditions of their settlement by one family, and the minimum area of a 1-room apartment should be at least 28 sq. m, he noted.

— Restriction on the construction of small-sized apartments less than 28 sq. m. m in Moscow from Moskomexpertiza only updates the previously prescribed standards. Because we see a different situation on the market, which runs counter to the instruction of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the provision of housing for Russians — by 2030 at least 33 square meters per person, — says Sergey Stepanov.

For example, in St. Petersburg and the agglomeration in recent years, the average area of apartments under construction has been significantly reduced, while the cost per square meter of housing is increasing. Today, of the 150,000 apartments under construction in St. Petersburg, more than 66% are small—sized housing: studios and one-room apartments, which are used by buyers primarily for investment purposes, and not for their own living, which provokes further price increases, the expert continued.

— Entire residential complexes consisting of studios and one-room apartments are being put on the market. As a result, Russian families cannot really improve their living conditions, and an uncomfortable urban environment is being formed in Russian cities,” Sergei Stepanov noted. — Therefore, such a ban is necessary. Personally, I believe that in order to correct the current situation in the primary market, it is necessary to prohibit at the legislative level the design and construction of apartments of less than 33 square meters; to establish a maximum share of one—room apartments of no more than 10% of the total number of apartments in a residential complex; to consolidate the definition of “one-room apartment” as an apartment with at least two rooms – a kitchen and a room (each with a window) and a bathroom; the remaining share in the residential complex should be occupied by multi-room apartments (from 45 sq. m.).

At the same time, the existing investment demand for small-sized apartments can be satisfied by developing a system of apartment hotels (apartment complexes, apartment buildings) in the Russian Federation with professional management companies interested in maintaining the proper condition of the facility and its high status. An increase in the volume of construction of hotel-type facilities will preserve the total volume of construction in the Russian Federation and increase tax revenues to the budget from the legalization of leases.

Sergey Stepanov added that for 32 years now, the Construction Trust has been successfully implementing projects of residential complexes focused on comfortable living for families with a large proportion of multi-room apartments: the share of two- and three-bedroom apartments in the company’s projects is 68%. The average area of apartments in the company today is 63 sq. m.


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