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Real Estate

Real Estate News
Vladimir Kozlov

Realtor points out decline in demand in upscale rental market

In 2010, demand for business class rented apartments declined by 15%, and that for elite class property by 10%, Penny Lane Realty said in an analytical report on Moscow’s rental market. The company’s analysts also pointed out the return of corporate customers to the market and renewed interest in renting apartments within city limits by people permanently living in residential compounds outside the capital. The proportion of companies renting residential property for its employees increased by 15%- 75% from the previous year, Penny Lane Realty said, also noting that the proportion of Russian renters exceeded that of foreign nationals for the first time since 2008. Rental budgets by British and US nationals went down, while those of French, Japanese and Swiss lease-holders increased. Foreign leaseholders of Moscow residential property mostly fall into the $3,000 to $8,000 a month category. Moscow’s Central Administrative District remained the most popular part of the city with renters, accounting for about 40 per cent of all requests from prospective tenants.

Moscow authorities continue crackdown on street kiosks

About 1,300 street kiosks in the city are operating in violation of the existing regulations and are to be demolished, Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin was quoted as saying on the wire service RIA Novosti. The crackdown on street kiosks, primarily those selling food, flowers and cigarettes near Metro stations, began last November, following Sobyanin’s visit to the neighborhood of the Metro station Ulitsa 1905 Goda. “In November and December, we conducted a serious inspection of street retail outlets,” Sobyanin was quoted as saying. “We are talking about significant violation of sanitary norms, illegal connecting to the electricity grid, failure to observe labor regulations, while some kiosks look absolutely ugly.” According to the Mayor, a new scheme regulating street kiosks in the city is currently being developed and is expected to be adopted later in the year.

Landmark restaurant to be shut down

One of the symbols of the Soviet era, the restaurant Praga, located on Stary Arbat in the heart of Moscow, is to be closed down, the wire service ITAR-TASS reported. According to the report, the building which hosts the restaurant, was sold by its current owner, the group AST, to well-known Italian designer Roberto Cavalli. The new owner is reportedly going to replace Praga with a restaurant under his brand Just Cavalli. Meanwhile, over the last two years, Praga, which in Soviet times was considered one of the few classy places in Moscow and was hard to get into, has been opened only for organized parties in addition to selling food to take out. AST group, owned by Telman Ismailov, was the owner of the outdoor market Cherkizovski, shut down by the authorities in 2009.

New rules for land tenure and development expected in Q1

New regulations governing land tenure and development in Moscow may be adopted by the city duma in the first quarter of 2011, Alexander Krutov, head of the duma’s procedural committee, told reporters. The new regulations, commissioned by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, are expected to formulate a consistent approach to land and development policies in the city, which under previous Mayor Yuri Luzhkov were widely believed to be chaotic and created opportunities for corruption. The new regulations are also expected to introduce such concepts as the maximum number of stores in buildings to be erected in a specific neighbourhood and the proportion of land that can be occupied by buildings.

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