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Russian Real Estate Investment Down 60%

Published: July 8, 2014 (Issue # 1818)



  • Investment in Russian real estate fell nearly 60 percent in the first half of this year amid looming economic stagnation
    Photo: Yevgeni Stetsko / Vedomosti

Investment in Russian real estate fell nearly 60 percent in the first half of this year amid looming economic stagnation, volatility in the ruble exchange rate and uncertainty emanating from the crisis in Ukraine, according to a report by consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.

"Investors remain cautious, which is driving down investment volumes relative to 2013," said Tom Mundy, head of research at JLL for Russia and the CIS.

Investment plummeted at the start of the year but has recovered slightly, rising from $545 million in the first quarter — a 73 percent decrease from 2013 — to $842 million in the second, a drop of 36 percent.

JLL earlier slashed their forecast on commercial real estate investment in Russia to $3.4 billion, down from a forecast of $7 billion at the beginning of the year.

This figure is not expected to improve, particularly in light of investors' concerns over the potential impact of further international sanctions against Russia, Mundy said.

Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in late March, the U.S. and European Union struck back with sanctions targeting a series of Russian officials, businessmen and companies with close ties to the Kremlin.

The international crisis hit the ruble as hard as it hit investor confidence: by the time President Vladimir Putin signed the annexation document, the ruble had weakened more than 10 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the year, spooking many investors in Russia's import-heavy retail sector.

Their nerves have had no chance to recover, as the U.S. and EU continue to reiterate threats of expanding the sanctions to sector-wide measures if peace efforts fail in eastern Ukraine, where the West accuses Russia of fomenting unrest.

But while real estate investment may be crushed this year by the menace of sanctions and economic growth forecasts that wobble around 0.5 percent, the market is likely to rebound in 2015.

"The Russian commercial real estate market is generally in pretty good health, having restructured well following the 2008 crisis and benefiting from a fundamental undersupply of quality stock. So after the disappointment of 2014, 2015 may prove a very strong year," Mundy said.

The hotel and office segments are leading for investment this year, with 37 percent and 24 percent of the total volume respectively. A single deal, however — the sale of an 84 percent stake of Hotel Company — significantly inflated hotels' share in the market, the study said.

Moscow dominated the market as usual, attracting 85 percent of all investments in the first half of the year. St. Petersburg increased its share slightly — from 5 to 8 percent — leaving Russia's vast regions with a 7 percent share.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, July 24


Liliana Modiliani, a well-known Russian stylist, will talk about choosing clothes that fit during her lecture at 7 p.m. at the Pryamoy Efir art club, 13 Viborgskoe Shosse.



Friday, July 25


Discuss Russia’s economic and political prospects for 2014 during a Business Breakfast organized by SPIBA at 9.30 a.m. in the Bank Saint-Petersburg office at 64


Malookhtinsky Prospekt.


Start your weekend with adorable miniature pigs at the Squealing Pig festival at 7 p.m. this evening in the Karl & Friedrich restaurant, 15 Iozhnaya doroga, on Krestovsky Island.



Saturday, July 26


Hundreds of brand-new and retro cars, drag and drift shows, test drives and karting are planned for the Avtobum-2014 festival, which will take place in front of the RIO shopping center at 2 Fuchika Ulitsa.


Participants in today’s SaniDay Summer competition will impress visitors with their hand-made, unusual and hilarious boats, which will race at the Igora Resort near the 54th kilometer on Priozerskoe Shosse.


Metro Family Day will include both serious lectures for adults and master-classes for children, making the event interesting for the whole family. To participate, come to Kirov Park on Yelagin Island.


Photography will be the focus of today’s Photosubbota, which features lectures by famous photographers, meetings with photo schools and studio representatives, and participation in a photography competition. The event starts at noon at Petrokongress, 5 Lodeynopolskaya Ulitsa.


If you like cycling, make sure to visit the Za Velogorod Festival with its retro bike exhibition, market and live music. The second round of the Leningrad Criterium race will also take place during the event at Petrovsky Arsenal in Sestroretsk.



Sunday, July 27


Navy Day will be celebrated with a weapon and military transportation exhibition, self-defense master classes and concerts. The event starts at 1 p.m. in the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburg.



Monday, July 28


Don’t miss a chance to see the latest achievements in robotics during the RoboDom interactive show, exhibiting more than 150 robots. The show will be at BUM center, 22/2 Gzhatskaya Ulitsa, until Aug. 3. The entrance ticket costs 350 rubles ($10).



Tuesday, July 29


A video of a Queen concert from 1986 will be shown today at 8 p.m. in Yaschik, 50/13 Ligovsky Prospekt.



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