Real Estate


Q4 2008

Appointments

  • November 01, 2008

Singaporean Real Estate

  • November 01, 2008
With the number of Russians traveling to Singapore increasing by 40 percent every year, the economic relations between the two countries are now vibrant and developing fast. Trade between the two nations is growing by 45 percent each year. Official figures put the number of Russians living and working in the city-state at between 2,000 and 3,000 and the amount of money they are investing in the country’s real estate is increasing. From an estimated $100 million in 2007 this figure is predicted to rise as a result of the growth in Russians’ income and their increasing awareness of development in Singapore.

Russia’s Architects go to Venice

  • November 01, 2008
“Architecture is not building. Architecture is about building.” That’s how Aaron Betsky introduces the 11th International Architecture Exhibition. The curator has chosen ‘Out There: Architecture Beyond Building’ as the title of this year’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale. In his explanation hanging in the entrance hall to the exhibition Betsky outlines what he wanted those contributing to the festival to consider. He describes the problems of modern architecture, the codes – financial, safety, urban and building – and systems that constrain it, and the ways that architecture can help people to make sense of the world around them. Architecture helps make people feel at home, defines their environment and relationship with it, and enables them to take control of technology, he writes.

Investment Property Outlook

  • November 01, 2008
The lack of financial resources available to developers due to the liquidity crisis has triggered a distrust in residential housing as an investment tool, say market players. Many private investors have decided to sell their apartments, which is leading to a sharp increase in supply in the secondary market. This, together with the fall in demand caused by a crisis of confidence, is leading to a price adjustment. Frightened investors are pushing apartment prices down.

St. Pete Scene

  • November 01, 2008

The Man Behind the Ubiquitous Signs

  • November 01, 2008
With a strong reputation in about 30 countries worldwide and a portfolio ranging from residential and commercial developments to large-scale infrastructure projects, the Austrian company Strabag has been strengthening its position more and more on the Russian construction market since its entry in the early 1990s. The past four years have been particularly dynamic ones for Strabag in Moscow, and even now, despite the uncertain economic climate, Strabag still seems determined to double its output in Russia over the coming year, and even has plans to expand into the CIS.

Property Insurance in Russia

  • November 01, 2008
Real estate insurance has become more acceptable to developers and tenants alike in Russia over the past decade. Fires at high-profile buildings such as the Manezh Exhibition Hall in March 2004 highlighted the fact that not all public and commercial buildings are insured and spurred owners into insuring their buildings. Even though the size of the insurance market has grown, at a rate of 17 to 22 percent a year according to Andrey Bezgrebelny, head of the claims department at Capital Insurance, market penetration in Russian real estate is still low. Dmitrie Nikolai Vyacheslavovich, president of AIG Insurance in Moscow said that property insurance has only reached about 10 to 20 percent of the total market, in comparison to 90 or 100 percent in the US and Western Europe.

Replacing Licenses

  • November 01, 2008
This summer, President Dmitry Medvedev signed Law No. 148-FZ on amending the Russian city-development code and some legislative acts of the Russian Federation. This law, passed July 22, clarifies the regulations for self-regulated organizations (SROs) working in the construction industry. The government intends these organizations to replace state licensing bodies. On January 1, 2009 the construction licensing system will be abolished and control of construction activities will be transferred to the SROs.

Regions, Municipalities and Social Infrastructure

  • November 01, 2008
Despite indicators continuously showing renewed economic strength in Russia, there are still very obvious shortfalls in public services. In other, more mature free market economies these would be a cause for concern. There has been a huge lack of investment in public services since the demise of the Soviet Union, but even when funds have been spent on public infrastructure it was not always done so properly. Public-private partnership (PPP) projects are one type of arrangement that can provide a step change in the delivery of public services.

Station Renovation

  • November 01, 2008
Train travel has a certain romantic feel to it, particularly in the minds of foreign travelers, for whom the weeklong Trans-Siberian route is one of Russia’s major attractions. But the reality of rail travel in Russia can often be starkly different. Railroad stations are often dirty, draughty, dull places where passengers want to spend as little time as possible. But all this is set to change according to planned development works by RZhD, Russia’s state rail operator.

Green Development in Russia

  • November 01, 2008
Green or sustainable buildings have come into their own over the past few years in many countries. Next year’s MIPIM property fair in Cannes will feature a ‘Green Building’ category for the first time. In the US and UK, the term ‘Green Building’, only a decade ago the subject of derision, is approached with brevity and urgency in government planning meetings, developers’ board rooms and financial power houses. In the most mature markets, suppliers and end-users alike are adopting green standards as the new industry norms. In China, the ecological situation has become so serious that the green development initiative is moving from being demand-led to government-led. While in Australia, good architecture and design is synonymous with new sustainable standards. Only Russia and a few emerging countries have so far remained ‘non-green’. 

Shopping for Shoppers

  • November 01, 2008
Russia’s consumer boom is not news to anybody, nor is the surprising fact that, despite the high cost of goods in cities like Moscow, shoppers are still hard pressed to find what they want. And yet they have continued spending their incomes in Russia and abroad, often shocking their Western counterparts with occasional flashy shopping habits. To date, Russians have been spending well over 70 percent of their income on shopping. This year, the nation’s retail market stood at about $120 billion dollars. In wake of the credit crunch, what does this robust retail market hold for developers? What kind of new schemes should they be considering to help them weather the current financial situation?

Think Big, Build Mega

  • November 01, 2008
The Mega-Project concept has received a lot of attention from all kinds of professionals: real estate developers, analysts, bankers, politicians and target buyers. Its relatively recent appearance on the market and the corresponding lack of experience in realizing projects of such magnitude go a long way in explaining this. Still, the MegaProject is not simply a novelty, but an interesting concept in its own right.

2008: An Economic Review

  • November 01, 2008
The summer of 2008 has echoes of ten years ago. Russia has gone through a massive crisis over the course of the past few months sustaining not one, but two stock market crashes of close to 20 percent, one of which was the steepest fall in the market’s history. The situation became so volatile that suspensions of trading on Russia’s exchanges have become the norm. From being an outperformer and the darling of the hedge fund world, Russia become one of the worst performing markets in the world this year down almost 70 percent, jostling with China, Vietnam and Ukraine for the title of most disappointing equity market this year.

What's up?

  • November 01, 2008

News in Brief

  • November 01, 2008

Editors' View

  • November 01, 2008
Q4 2008
Q4 2008
How the markets look in the current situation
Russia's first step towards a greener future
What is architectecture about if not the buildings?