Percent of anxiety


Business discusses the challenges of moving to a new housing system

The dramatic changes taking place today in the housing market are aimed primarily at protecting the interests of home buyers. At the same time, they complicate the life of business and regulators, so one of the tasks of the industry is to observe a balance of interests of the state, developers and buyers. This topic was discussed at the “Development: Reboot” conference organized by Kommersant, which took place in Moscow on August 24.

According to the authorities, adjustments to the law on shared construction should make the industry more transparent, and the activities of developers more predictable and controlled. However, like any radical transformation, reform carries with it certain costs. According to many market participants, the proposed model of interaction between the state, banks, developers and citizens is not ideal and needs some work. Thus, according to the chairman of Moskomstroyinvest, Konstantin Timofeev, the amounts of contributions to the Fund for the Protection of Shareholders (1.2% of the amount of DDU) set today must be increased. “It is obvious that the tariffs of contributions to the compensation fund should be increased, the current size of tariffs does not correspond to the realities,” the official said. “In our opinion, it is very important that the compensation fund have real opportunities, real amount of funds to help in case of need.”

Certain difficulties will arise with the authorities and with control over the activities of developers. According to preliminary estimates, the number of legal entities operating in the Moscow market will increase by more than a hundred by the end of the year due to new features of registration.

Due to the fact that it is now necessary to obtain one building permit for one object, the authorities predict an increase in the number of companies from 300 to 420-430 by the end of the year. “Accordingly, the volume of our work associated with the necessary inspections of the activities of these developers will increase,” said Timofeev.

The head of Moskomstroyinvest also believes that the existing procedure for submitting reports once a quarter gives the unscrupulous developer time for the misuse of funds. In this regard, at the initiative of the department in Moscow, a new control system is being developed and tested, providing for monthly reporting. According to Timofeev, seven large construction companies agreed to participate in the run-in of this system. “I want to emphasize that this is a voluntary undertaking, we do not have the legislative levers for its mandatory introduction,” he noted. “However, the participation of companies in such an experiment will make it possible to respond more quickly and precisely to any complications.” Approbation of the new control system will be conducted until the spring of next year. After that, it is planned to extend its action to the whole of Moscow, but even then it will remain voluntary.

Several other aspects worry business. Issues of interaction with banks are highly relevant for developers. In particular, the problem of the cost of money that will be attracted in the form of loans to finance the construction site remains open. “Judging by the fact that banks are broadcasting to us, it is necessary to convince the regulator to somehow soften the standards for them,” said Kirill Bagachenko, Chief Financial Officer of the Etalon Group, at the conference. “We say that money on escrow accounts for banks is free, but this is not quite so, which means that it will be much cheaper to issue loans than 4–4.5%.”

The economist also identified the need for a more detailed and thorough study of the rules for using escrow accounts, since the proposed rules, in his opinion, will lead to an increase in the costs of developers and housing prices. “We looked at the global practice: almost nowhere is the norm to deposit funds on escrow accounts fully until the end of construction, we must abandon this practice in our field,” says Bagachenko.

Representatives of the business community foresee the withdrawal from the market of a large number of small and medium-sized companies, especially in the regions. “We talk a lot about Moscow, but everything is relatively stable here, and in the regions for many innovations they will become catastrophic, there are many small companies with a not very significant financial base, and they simply will not survive the changes,” said Benjamin Golubitsky. By the way, the authorities recognize that in the new realities the redistribution of the market may occur, and the weakest developers will disappear. Such a scenario, according to Konstantin Timofeev, is very likely. However, for potential home buyers, this is not bad. “In the market will remain those players who will be able to provide the most competitive and high-quality product, this happens in all industries,” the official said.

About 1.8 million square meters – For the construction of such a volume of housing in Moscow issued a conclusion on the conformity of developers (AIA) after July 1 under the new rules

Source: “Stroitelnaya gazeta” №34