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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dacha Daydreaming: Getting a Good Lease

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For the cottage leasing market, the beginning of March is a breaking point. After a sleepy winter period, demand for dachas awakens quickly. Among potential lessors, you can find various people: bankers, entrepreneurs, government officials, pop-singers and expats, all looking for out-of-town dwellings. This exodus from Moscow fast depletes the supply of country houses. What is the supply like now?

First of all, it's the peak time for the market. What is offered today, may be leased out tomorrow. Chances for renting the house you really want are fading every day Ч making it almost impossible to find an acceptable dacha in May, let alone in June. This is particularly true for houses offered for rent by private owners in the most sought-after areas like Rublevo-Uspenskoye Shosse.

Private offers constitute a major part (about 70 percent) of what's available. Cottages in residential compounds make up the rest of the supply. Due to strict time periods for leases Ч usually not less than 12 months Ч compounds can have vacant houses at the height of the rental season.

The main advantage to renting a cottage in a serviced residential compound is that you enjoy quality housing combined with security and added amenities: sports, entertainment and medical facilities. But if you prefer privacy and beautiful scenery, the choice for you is more likely to be a house owned by a private person and situated in a well-known dacha settlement like Barvikha or Nikolina Gora along the Rublevo-Uspenskoye Shosse.

Geographically, offers can be classified as in-Moscow and out-of-Moscow. The first is the more expensive option and mainly consists of houses at Serebryany Bor and a number of guarded compounds in other districts. The outside Moscow option is much more popular and is usually subdivided into locations associated with highways: Apart from Rublevo-Uspenskoye, there are Kaluzhskoye, Minskoye, Kievskoye, Leningradskoye, Novorizhskoye, Volokolamskoye and Pyatnitskoye highways, as well as the Dmitrovskoye, Ostashkovskoye and Yaroslavskoye highways, which have reservoirs with facilities for water sports such as sailing or windsurfing.

The number of guarded residential compounds is growing every year. At the moment, such developments are concentrated on the western side of the Moscow region: from Yaroslavskoye Shosse in the north to Kaluzhskoye Shosse in the south. There are at least 15 such compounds that offer cottages. Besides the well-known developments, it's worth mentioning two newcomers in this market. First there is a new compound in Serebryany Bor that will, no doubt, be completely leased out very soon, and second, there is an especially big country-house development along Kaluzhskoye Shosse Ч it's not very close to the Moscow Ring Road, but the cottages themselves are incomparable. There are also four new projects that will offer their cottages to tenants this fall. One of the main issues influencing the cottage leasing market is rental price. For guarded compounds, the monthly rent is usually above $4,000 a month (with one small, and much poorer quality exception on Minskoye Shosse) and may be up to $17,000 a month in the most elite developments. The median price is about $6,000. Decent quality cottages offered by private owners may cost from $1,500 up to $20,000 depending on three major factors: location, size and quality of the house and amenities, like sauna or swimming pool.

The season is open. This is the right time to make your choice, if you want to live in a country house. For best results consult your realtor.

Yevgeny Ivanov is managing director of Dacha Real Estate, a division of USADBA property consultants.