Jittery Investors Drive Moscow Housing Up 17% in April

Jittery investors rushed to the primary real estate market in April in the wake of falling stock prices, driving new housing prices up 16.9 percent over the month amid a deficit of new housing, Noviye Izvestia reported on Monday.

The prices of new elite-class “monolith” residential buildings in Moscow rose to an average 342,900 rubles ($11,430) per square meter in April, with experts expecting new apartment prices could rise by another 12-15 percent by the end of the year.

The increased demand for new housing comes from investors, while the sharp price growth has resulted from the relatively low level of housing construction in the Russian capital, International Mortgage and Real Estate Academy Vice President Irina Radchenko said.

“Russians have started to withdraw savings from mutual funds to invest part of their money in real estate,” market expert Dmitry Ivanov said. “Besides, investors have appeared on the market who have taken no action until now but waited to see how events will develop after the inauguration of the president,” he said, adding the upward price trend was not observed in the Russian regions.

House prices are growing much faster than household incomes. According to Rosstat data, individuals’ incomes grew 0.8 percent in 2011 compared with a whopping 15.2 percent growth in house prices last year.


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