Housing market: Square millimeters are outlawed

Real estate market concept with illegal square millimeters announcement, urban background

Рынок жилья: Квадратные миллиметры объявлены вне закона

Micro-apartments will no longer be built in Moscow, or they will lose the status of living space, the authorities of the capital explain this by caring about the comfort of citizens. At the same time, the “higher authority” represented by the State Duma declares such a ban illegal. Very strange… There simply cannot be such inconsistencies within the framework of the main city of the country, which means that we simply do not understand something.

“Taking into account the indicators achieved in the city of Moscow in the field of housing construction, as well as the targets provided for by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, when designing facilities in the territory of the city of Moscow, deviation from the established minimum values of the area of apartments is not allowed,” the order of the Moscow City Hall says.

According to SNiP 31012003 “Multi—apartment residential buildings”, the minimum area for one-room apartments is set at 28 square meters, for two-room apartments – 44 square meters. And the so-called “studios” according to the Housing Code of the Russian Federation do not belong to residential premises at all. In general, the construction of such facilities will not be coordinated.

“Housing should be housing, not a small kennel, studios can only be in apartments. There are a lot of “studios” now — 16, 18 and even 8 meters each,” says Irina Dobrokhotova, founder of BEST—Novostroy.

Sometimes less, for 1.9 million rubles, something is sold that looks more like a bathroom or toilet in terms of area. Yes, they are even more in decent houses nowadays.

“For this price, you can buy a studio apartment on the third floor of an eight-storey brick house built in 1983. The room with an area of 6.1 square meters is sold with cosmetic repairs. There are no windows in the studio, but you can make a bathroom. The Elektrozavodskaya metro station is a 12—minute walk away,” the Domklik service said in a statement.

It is not very clear how such an “apartment” was agreed upon in principle, and it was fenced off in a Soviet house. But such doghouses, alas, are not uncommon. Why are they needed, and why do developers in new homes continue to design them?

“Non-standard, small-sized apartments can have an important social function. To buy an apartment with two living rooms at the price of a one—room apartment, with three — at the price of a two-room apartment and so on is a great success for buyers who want to get maximum functionality with a very limited budget.

In light of the challenges of demography, an artificial restriction on the construction of such apartments is impractical, because for a young family, it is often not so much the area that is important as the opportunity to have as many separate rooms as possible, even on a small meter,” Ruslan Syrtsov, managing director of Metrium, is sure.

It is unlikely that developers are thinking about any “social function”, except for the profits of the oligarchs in the Russian Federation, they are definitely not interested in anything. Moreover, as Soviet practice has shown — when apartments were “distributed for free” — the so-called small-sized housing is inconvenient in principle. Nikita Khrushchev launched its construction in the late 50s, curtailing the construction of comfortable and spacious “stalinok”, then everything was done in spite of. But ten years later, under Brezhnev, such houses were abandoned. People settled in them only in the absence of options and always tried to change this housing to a more comfortable one.

By the way, the so—called “Khrushchev” — in fact, they were designed before 1953 – were not small-sized. Yes, the kitchen and bathroom are very small, but the rooms are generally quite normal. Although, of course, there is much to strive for. So the five-storey buildings themselves were planned as a temporary option, for 20 years. Until they set up beautiful houses with spacious apartments for everyone. But, alas, it did not work out.

Nevertheless, “small—sized” are still not sorter studios, in which it is basically impossible to live. A number of realtors claim that those, if they are decorated as full-fledged apartments, are taken for the sake of registration. It is expensive, however, you can buy a residence permit much cheaper.

Another version is an investment one. They say they took it in the expectation of an increase in the price of square meters. However, there is also a discrepancy. Real estate, if it is useless, is worthless — something that cannot be exploited in one way or another cannot be valuable. But after all, for some reason such lots are put up for sale…

Moreover, voices have already begun to be heard in favor of the fact that this decision of the metropolitan authorities is illegal.

“A ban on the construction of small studios in Russia is impossible. Small studios appear due to the fact that people have demand and not enough money to buy a large apartment. Housing is getting more expensive, demand is not growing, preferential mortgages are practically frozen. And developers are looking for ways to reduce the cost of the product, including by reducing square meters. If a child leaves the family, starts earning and can afford a small apartment, it’s better than nothing. Then he starts a family, sells a small apartment, buys a large one,” says Svetlana Razvorotneva, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Construction and Housing and Communal Services.

Let’s say prices have not been going up for a long time, but are falling with might and main. And it is impossible to sell anything in this very falling market. Demand is not just “not growing”, it has disappeared as such — the people simply do not have money. On the contrary, there is a lot of free living space, only in the market of new buildings there are several million apartments that no one will buy at current prices. But, indeed, developers are looking for different options to exchange their real estate for money. Apparently, with the help of micro-apartments and studios as well.

Although this trick is unlikely to work. According to a study by Est-a-Tet, Muscovites are ready to buy apartments at a cost of up to 150 thousand rubles per square meter, and already with good finishes. Now the prices are twice as high. Both for normal apartments and studios. Those who dream of buying a “sorter” somehow could not be found at all. Why would that be?

In general, the situation looks very strange. These very “studios” of microscopic size are actively promoting, and now they have decided to ban it. It is very similar to the element of advertising — such as “take while they give”. Apparently, no one takes it.


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