Russia: families would not be able to buy houses? (Eurasianet, USA)

The reduced income has led to an increase in debt on the mortgage: the amount of overdue payments on housing loans from the beginning of 2020 rose 2.42 billion. About 30 thousand families are unable to pay their obligations.

Experts do not expect a quick recovery of the financial situation: cumulatively by 2024, real disposable incomes will fall by at least 6.8 percent relative to 2019, according to the HSE.

The government launches a new program of preferential mortgage lending in order to support the falling market and a decline in the pace of housing construction. For preferential mortgage accounts for half of the volume of mortgages in recent months.

A mortgage pay nothing

In the second quarter of 2020, real disposable income fell by 8 percent compared to the same period last year, reports Rosstat. This is a record quarterly drop during statistical observations.

Experts of “development Center” Higher school of Economics believes that by the end of the year, this indicator will not change according to their forecasts the decline will amount to 8.2 per cent in the baseline scenario, and 17.4 per cent in the pessimistic. The biggest failure of expected income from business activity of at least minus 40 percent in 2024 in relation to 2019-mu.

Growing unemployment: the level in June 2020 was 6.2 percent, which is 1.8 percent higher than last year. In July 2020, Rosstat has counted 4.6 million unemployed, 1.2 million people more than last year. According to the Minister of labour of the Russian Federation Anton Kotyakova, 25 percent of the registered with the employment service of the unemployed were dismissed in a pandemic.

Falling incomes have affected the mortgage market, follows from statistics of the Central Bank. The number of loans fell by 40 percent: of 145, 4 with thousands in January to 85.6 thousand in June 2020. The volume of loans fell by 42.5 percent with 345,5 billion to 198,9 billion per month.

Overdue debt increased by 2.42 billion (+3.6 percent) — with 66,76 69,18 billion to billion. The Central Bank includes in this figure only those loans on which no income within the 90 days. That is the real size of the delay in July can only be evaluated in the autumn and, probably, it is substantially higher than currently available information.

According to the National Bureau of credit histories, the average size mortgage loan in June amounted to 2.49 million rubles. This means that at least 27.8 thousands of families are now experiencing difficulties with the repayment of the mortgage.

Resuscitation gasket

For the first half of 2020 in Russia, according to Rosstat, commissioned 26.7 million sq m of housing in apartment buildings, which is 11.4% less than the same period last year. In July, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the national goals, shifting the period of their implementation from 2024 to 2030. Now to get on the pace of growth of 120 million sqm per year after 10 years. For comparison: in 2019 built 80,3 million sq m, of which 36.8 million square metres, private residential buildings.

Predictions about the incomes that will continue to decline in the coming years, put these objectives into question, even with the postponement. Without effective demand for apartments to increase the volume of housing construction is unlikely to succeed.

To support the demand may be declining mortgage rate: weighted average rate on housing loans in January stood at 9.01 percent in June of 7.40 percent. The reduction of the key rate following the meeting of the Central Bank on 24 July to 4.25 percent to support the downward trend of the cost of the loan. By the end of 2020 mortgage rates could fall below 7 percent thanks to the policies of the Central Bank and subsidized programs of the state, writes RBC with reference to experts Moody’s.

So, on 24 July, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the government will allocate 5 miliardov roubles to compensate 35 percent of the cost of housing for young families with children. “This will help to solve the housing problem of more than 15 thousands of young families,” he said.

Earlier, on 20 April 2020, launched a program of preferential housing loans at 6.5 per cent per annum. In the framework of the programme approved by 197 thousand applications and issued loans for a total amount of 182 billion rubles, said Vladimir Yakushev in an interview with radio station “Komsomolskaya Pravda” in the middle of July. If we compare these figures with those of the Central Bank during this period, it turns out that subsidized mortgages accounted for half of the total amount of housing loans (may-June 2020 issued 400 billion).

Alina Musina — the alias of Russian journalist