A shade of sun in the window: standards of solar exposure will be mitigated


To support developers the city authorities are ready to ease standards of solar exposure. Along with the extension of the state program of subsidizing mortgages the city authorities are taking their own measures to stimulate housing construction in Moscow. A new method of calculating the number of parking slots in new buildings is used from this year, in the queue – a revision of standards of solar exposure.

The Moscow branch of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography has not yet given an account of the February transactions on the real estate market, but developers noted the sales growth in January and February by approximately 20-30% compared to the same period last year. “Our sales have increased by approximately 30% in the first two months compared to the previous year”, reports a representative of the company MR Group, “at the beginning of the year there were rumors that the Russian government has decided not to extend the program of preferential mortgage, so those who doubt decided to buy due to the fear that the rates will rise”.

The company Est-a-Tet compares the situation on the market of new builds with the boom of the end of 2014: in comparison to January, 2015 the demand was higher by almost 3.5 times. According to experts, the behavior of customers was affected not only by the information about the termination of mortgage programs with state support, but also by a variety of promotions and discounts made by real estate companies.

The cost of apartments in newbuilds located between the Third Ring Road (TTK) and the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) decreased on average by 9.5% in one year, according to the data of the analytical center IRN.ru. In February, 2015 on the primary mass segment market of Moscow only 27 projects (7,5 thousand of apartments) were exhibited, and in February, 2016, 40 projects (13,6 thousand of apartments) were on sale.

“This fact also affected the price,” noted representatives of the company Metrium Group. Of course, these projects have been developed in recent “fat” years, and now developers are forced to bring them to market, making agreements on general principles of pricing and the amount of discounts. The city administration noted the lowest rate of prices in the primary market saying that it is unlikely to be seen in the foreseeable future.

“Nowadays 1 sq. meter of an apartment in the outskirts of Moscow can cost 80 thousand rubles. As far back as three years ago  the price was 150 thousand rubles per sq.meter. Thus the crisis has its advantages,” said the Deputy Mayor, the head of the Moscow Construction Complex Marat Khusnullin.

“Today we understand that the main task of the Moscow Government is to give an impetus to the construction industry. This is especially true of housing construction. And our task is to support investment activities in Moscow,”  said the head of Moskomstroyinvest (the Moscow Committee for Realization of Construction Investment Projects and Co-Investment Agreements) Konstantin Timofeev.

According to him, the City and Land Planning Committee (GZK) headed by Sergey Sobyanin has decided to revise the “paper” projects: where this is not contrary to the town planning policy of the city, the GZK will allow investors to build housing instead of offices. In the last year alone permits for 15 million square meters were issued. Moreover the authorities made considerable progress in reducing administrative barriers. Most state services necessary to arrange land plot for housing or change the type of permitted use, were converted to electronic format. “This is a time and money saver for companies,” emphasizes Timofeev.

Reducing the cost of residential facilities is another field of concern. “This can be achieved, for example, by revision of some regulations that will increase the amount of useful space and reduce the financial burden on developers,” says Konstantin Timofeev.

At the end of December, 2015, the Government of Moscow issued a decree “On the method of calculation of parking slots during construction”, according to which the number of parking slots may be reduced depending on the access to transportation. This is a considerable support for developers who previously were forced to design at least one parking slot per apartment for economy-class houses (up to 30 square meters of living space per person); at least 1.7 parking spaces per apartment for comfort class (from 30 to 50 square meters per person); and at least two parking spaces per apartment for business class (more than 50 square meters per person). Due to the shortage of land parking slots were designed in the underground levels, so that their price even in the economy class buildings could be up to one third of the cost of an apartment.

In addition, the city administration continues to discuss possible amendments to the rules on solar exposure. The initiative to change them was launched a year ago by the members of the Club of Investors. In their opinion, on the sites allocated for development it is often difficult to place a house with a desirable set of apartments, which meets all the standards on solar exposure. As a result a developer is forced to design three-room apartments instead of the most popular single-room flat. Developers argue that in our climate and time zone it is not a very important issue, as soon as a significant part of a year Muscovites use lamplight not only at night but also at daytime.

Club of Investors offers to provide an opportunity for developers to make their own decision to reduce the rate of insolation in new buildings. At the same time they are ready to make a commitment to inform their clients (and get their written consent) on the quality of solar exposure in living quarters prior to the transaction. If the changes are accepted, the areas adjacent to newbuilds will be equipped with swimming pools, solariums and well-lighted recreations. However kindergartens and schools regardless of their location will comply with the existing requirements of solar exposure. Representatives of the Moscow Construction Complex agree with investors on this matter.

“The established norms go against the interests of developers and purchasers,” said Konstantin Timofeev. The amendments should also affect the cost of housing: apartments with reduced insolation will cost less – that is more important for many customers than the sunlight in the window.

Moskovskaya Perspertiva