Urgent business: what accelerates and slows down the construction of houses in St. Petersburg

Срочное дело: что ускоряет и тормозит строительство домов в Петербурге

Photo: Sergey Mikhaylichenko /

    According to the Unified Resource of developers (ERZ.Russian Federation), the average construction period of apartment buildings from the issuance of a construction permit to commissioning decreased to 46.3 months (i.e. less than 4 years), while housing is generally commissioned on time — over the past 12 months, the share of housing commissioned on time and ahead of schedule averaged 63%.

    Fontanka and the Association of Builders of St. Petersburg interviewed the leading developers of St. Petersburg and found out what the pace of housing construction in St. Petersburg is and what helps to rent houses on time or even earlier.

    Meeting deadlines

    The average construction period from the issuance of a construction permit is 46.3 months (or 3 years and 10.3 months), and from the date of publication of the first project declaration — 35.6 months (i.e. slightly less than 3 years), reports ERZ.RF.

    In St. Petersburg, developers are maintaining about the same pace. Olga Trosheva, director of the St. Petersburg Real Estate consulting center (Setl Group) explained that if the land plot is fully prepared for development, then the average construction period for a new house in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region is 2.5–3 years.

    Today, the average construction time of residential complexes ranges from 2 to 3 years, depending on the area and class of the object,” confirmed Andrey Borodin, Director of construction of the Aquilon Group in St. Petersburg and LO.

    “The average speed of construction of a multi—storey building (14-22 floors) is 36 months from the fencing of the construction site to the commissioning of the facility,” comments Natalia Kukushkina, head of the marketing group of the CDU company. — All possible risks have already been taken into account in this period, for example, delays in the supply of building materials or with connection to networks. Not all of them come to life, which makes it possible to shorten the construction cycle and rent the house ahead of schedule.”

    “The average speed of construction of one residential complex is in the range of 1000-1200 days, it depends on the size of the object under construction, as well as the breakdown into queues,” says Sergey Sofronov, Commercial Director of PSK Group. Individual small houses can be raised in 600-700 days, and there are projects where the construction time is 1400 days or more.

    At the same time, he notes that comparing the construction time by year is somewhat problematic — for example, there are companies whose deadlines have increased almost one and a half times over the past 3-5 years. “But if you look at their portfolio in detail, it becomes clear why,” Sergey Sofronov added, “they began to build larger apartment buildings or more complex projects appeared. For example, to carry out redevelopment. Or integrated development projects, where several houses and social infrastructure are being built in parallel.”

    “Each developer has its own targets for sales and construction rates outlined in the strategy,” added Dmitry Kalinin, Director of the Severnaya Dolina project at Glavstroy St. Petersburg. — I can say that Glavstroy St. Petersburg fulfills its obligations to the city and partners in a timely manner. As for the speed of construction, we build one residential building within 2-2.5 years, a social facility — a school, kindergarten or polyclinic — faster: from 1 to 2 years.”

    The average speed of construction of a residential complex depends primarily on the scale of the project and the characteristics of the site, continued Alexey Pyatnenkov, Acting Vice president of the GloraX project management unit: “The speed of construction of one house is about 3 years, while the development of project documentation and obtaining permits can last from a year to two, depending on depends on the complexity of the project.”

    No hyphenation

    Also FIDGETING.The Russian Federation reports that the postponement of the planned dates for the commissioning of housing under construction in the country decreased in January 2024 by 22% year-on-year.

    “Yes, if you look at the open statistics of the ERZ.According to the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg, 2-3 years ago there were much more numbers in the “postponement” column than now, – Sergey Sofronov notes. “This is one of the positive consequences of the project financing system — almost always delays in construction were associated with a lack of funds, which in extreme cases led to long—term construction.”

    He recalls that 10 years ago, almost one in five residential construction projects in St. Petersburg somehow surrendered at the wrong time. And a couple of years ago, among all the houses being commissioned late, the average delay time increased to 4.5 months. “This was mainly influenced by external situations: there were problems with the logistics of imported materials, there was a shortage of workers,— Sergey Sofronov added. “It’s easier now, the pace of construction in St. Petersburg is overwhelmingly good and is being observed, according to project declarations.”

    “Postponements of the planned dates for the commissioning of housing under construction have really decreased, since the grace period for developers has ended, providing for the cancellation of fines in case of late commissioning,” he explainedAlexey Pyatnenkov. He recalled that anti-crisis relief ceased to be effective on July 1, 2023.

    “The introduction of a grace period allowed developers to rebuild their logistics chains and eliminate interruptions in the supply of building materials and components that arose after February 2022,” Alexey Pyatnenkov added. — However, fines are currently provided for failure to meet the deadlines for housing commissioning. Therefore, compared with the period when the relief was provided, the volume of delays decreased. In addition, a developer who violates the deadlines for commissioning carries reputational risks, so none of the players as a whole is interested in delaying the construction process.”

    Dmitry Kalinin he does not note any market factors that would affect the reduction of transfers: “I suppose it’s all about effective time management: competent planning of all stages of work allows you to lay down a sufficient time reserve to eliminate comments (if any arise from the supervisory authorities) and, as a result, completely eliminate the disruption of the officially declared commissioning of the facility.” According to him, the topic of deadlines is always relevant for developers, especially during the period of change and transformation that the real estate market is currently undergoing.

    “Postponements of commissioning dates are objectively becoming less common,— comments Natalia Kukushkina. — This problem is practically irrelevant for St. Petersburg. Today’s DDU form does not allow the developer to transfer the keys to the apartment later than the deadline specified in the contract. This entails significant penalties. In this regard, developers are extremely interested in delivering the facilities on time.” The current unfinished buildings, according to her, were formed 5-7 years ago and are now being completed.

    The high competition in the construction market and the conditions of project financing contribute to reducing the construction time, confirms Andrey Borodin. “The topic of deadlines is definitely relevant for St. Petersburg,” he believes. — The tendency to reduce construction time has always existed in the market. It directly depends, among other things, on the constant introduction of new technologies.”

    External difficulties

    Developers note that in recent years, postponements have occurred primarily due to external factors. So, Andrey Borodin says that recently it was both a pandemic and the withdrawal of some manufacturers from the market. “At the moment, the exchange rate and, as a result, the outflow of foreign workers have a great impact on the timing and cost of construction,” he believes.

    In the early 2000s, construction was severely hampered due to interaction with monopolists. Now, according to Andrey Borodin, questions to them periodically continue to arise, although now to a greater extent it is not electricity supply, but water supply and sanitation.

    Alexey PyatnenkovHe believes that the postponement of deadlines is individual in nature, in particular, it may be a problem with connection to networks, or a project built with deviations from the project documentation. “At facilities where rare imported materials and components are used, there may still be interruptions in the supply of these items,” he noted.

    Dmitry Kalinin I am sure that the main reason for the recent postponements has been adaptation to new conditions — changes that are somehow accompanied by difficulties. “For the construction segment, this is a shortage of personnel, an increase in the cost of materials, problematic procurement logistics caused by foreign policy factors,” he explained. — The latter is related to import substitution: it takes time to reach a supplier that produces high-quality equipment, while being ready to work in specified terms and volumes. There were situations when a potential contractor was satisfied with us at the tender stage, but during the procurement it turned out that the company could not fulfill its obligations to supply the equipment we needed. And this, unfortunately, is an unpredictable moment even for a conscientious developer.”

    As for the power grids, the city has managed to significantly improve the interaction: Dmitry Kalinin added that we did not have any serious questions about electricity supply or networks to our colleagues.

    “Connecting to networks is not the main problem right now,” Natalia Kukushkina agreed. “As a rule, everything fits within the declared deadlines.” But, according to her, sometimes the commissioning is postponed by the region itself, if its plan for housing for the current year has already been completed and it is more profitable for it to enter your facility next year. “In this case, we are talking about short postponements — from December to January. This does not lead to penalties, as the developer has enough time to transfer the keys to the shareholders,” Natalia Kukushkina clarified.

    Acceleration of processes

    Developers today are trying not only to deliver objects on time, but sometimes even to accelerate relative to the deadlines stated in the construction permit. The reason is simple — the disclosure of escrow accounts is tied to the commissioning of the house, which is especially important in conditions of high inflation.

    “Earlier disclosure of escrow accounts allows you to pay less interest for using the loan, which increases the profitability of the facility,” explained Andrey Borodin.

    According to him, the acceleration of construction time depends on a number of factors: These are timely delivery of high-quality design solutions, systematic financing of construction, selection of reliable partners and contractors, selection of optimal work production technologies, consideration of seasonality at the start of the facility, etc.

    “Also now, prefab, digitalization, and even modularization are actively used to reduce deadlines,” Andrei Borodin added. — Speeding up the construction period results in a reduction in cost, an earlier return of own funds invested in the project, and the release of resources for new projects.

    “It is possible to accelerate construction at all stages, starting with the design,” Natalia Kukushkina believes. — But the best method is properly set up and debugged business processes. For example, parallelization of different operations.” The next important point is the development of standard solutions that require less labor both in terms of work production and in terms of applied technologies. “Your logistics chain is also important. The longer the material is coming to you, the higher the chance that the delivery will be delayed,” she continued. — If you use standard solutions of domestic production or from the CIS countries, the likelihood of delays is reduced.”

    It is possible to accelerate the pace of construction through the use of innovative technologies, digitalization and optimization at individual stages, while maintaining the quality of work, saysOlga Trosheva. “For example, Setl Group has developed its own digital ecosystem, it unites all stages of construction: from design to the transfer of apartments to shareholders,” she explained. — With the help of BIM technologies, it is possible to draw up and control the construction schedule, schedule scheduled meetings with contractors, monitor how the laser scanning of premises takes place — in other words, carry out construction control. Digital technologies simplify the interaction between departments, reduce the influence of the human factor, and therefore minimize the number of errors. The work process is accelerated, full control and transparency are ensured at all stages of construction. Thanks to the use of the digital ecosystem, the average construction time of Setl Group facilities has been reduced by about 6 months.”

    If we talk about new approaches to work, last year Setl Group optimized the interior decoration process, the residential complex “Palace Facade” in Strelna was chosen as an experimental site — after analyzing the processes, the delivery routes and storage points of finishing materials changed, and finishing specialists began to apply new, more effective methods of laying tiles, Olga Trosheva told me. As a result, the average bathroom finishing time was reduced from 10 to 6 days while maintaining the highest quality of work.

    “Full-cycle developers, such as GloraX, manage to reduce construction time by optimizing business processes inside,” comments Alexey Pyatnenkov. — For example, our own design bureau allows us not to depend on external contractors, which also affects the timing of project implementation. In addition, the integration of standard solutions also optimizes the design and construction time. In particular, as part of the implementation of comfort-class projects for different residential complexes, depending on location, cost and other factors, we offer different standard solutions, thanks to which we manage to standardize the product and generally reduce construction time.”

    PSK Group also has its own construction division with the function of a general contractor, which allows it to withstand the speed of construction better than the average in the city — about 875 days. “In general, we usually complete construction earlier than originally planned,” Sergey Sofronov said. According to him, it is possible to save money on early disclosure of escrow accounts, but much depends on their fullness: the more money there is in escrow accounts, the lower the project financing rate. “Ideally, at the time of commissioning of a comfort-class house, everything or almost everything should be sold,” Sergey Sofronov added.

    In this regard, Dmitry Kalinin believes that it is important for a developer to commission residential buildings on time, early delivery is economically impractical: it is necessary to maintain a balance of “built / sold”. “Early disclosure of escrow accounts, in our opinion, will also not lead to any significant savings,” he notes. “It is important for us that each apartment built finds its own owner and the new settlers at the same time move into new comfortable apartments.”

    The exception is social facilities: in this case, it is really necessary to accelerate the pace of construction, invest more resources, find contractors who are ready to work quickly, while being responsible for the result. In addition, at the initial stage of preparation for construction, it is important for the developer to fully provide the future kindergarten or polyclinic with documentation and finances — this is the key to effective construction, Dmitry Kalinin added.

    Срочное дело: что ускоряет и тормозит строительство домов в Петербурге

    Photo: Sergey Mikhaylichenko /

    Источник: www.fontanka.ru

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