Buying apartment in Moscow costs 149 years of life

The affordability of residential property in major cities of Russia is a frightening issue. The numbers do not shock only the people of Singapore, where one has to save for 36 years to afford a private apartment. The citizens of the United States and some European countries will think twice before making a decision about moving to Russia.

However, this issue is relevant not only for those who are going to reside in a million-strong Russian city or one a megacity. Even average Muscovites who want to buy a house separate from their parents would go through tormenting considerations before they begin to pack their suitcases. The study by Alliance De Luxe conducted every year showed that a resident of Moscow with an average salary of 41,000 rubles ($1,300, monthly) would have to save the entire salary for 13.5 years to buy an apartment.

If a Muscovite starts saving at the age of 20, by middle age they would get the keys to their own apartment of 40 square meters and one bedroom. Not a mansion, but their own. The cost of such an apartment today on average is 6.64 million rubles ($207,500).

However, those who cannot wait for a long time and are not afraid of wet weather can move to a St. Petersburg apartment. A one-bedroom apartment in St. Petersburg costs just 3.96 million rubles ($123,000) and the savings time (again, excluding spending on food, water, clothing and other goods) will be reduced to 10 years 11 months. Incidentally, an apartment in St. Petersburg is only slightly more expensive than that in the Moscow region, where one would have to save 10 years and 3.5 months to buy their own apartment.

Analysts advise those willing to selflessly save for an apartment to look away from the two capitals. For example, in a major city on the Middle Volga - Samara, saving 27,000 rubles ($843) a month for 5 years and 11 months will buy you a one-bedroom apartment at 1.88 million rubles ($58,750). The trick is not to buy in the industrial zone, where most businesses construction, petrochemical, oil refining, electrical, metallurgical, and energy businesses are concentrated.

Samara has 43 percent greater rate of air pollution over the territory of the city than an average Russian city. It can be assumed that part of air pollution over the city affects the cost of apartments. However, in comparison to Moscow, where the air is poisoned by the exhaust gases of motor vehicles, power plants, factories, evaporation of hot asphalt, Samara seems like a paradise.

Under seven years of saving, one can buy an apartment in Chelyabinsk or Omsk, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, or Novosibirsk. To the delight of the Russians, the period of savings for the apartment is considerably reduced in comparison with the similar study conducted two years ago. In 2010 an apartment in Moscow could be bought after 20 years of savings, in St. Petersburg - a little over 15 years, Samara - 14.6 years.

"For the population of major cities housing affordability is raising very slowly. On average, "savings" indicated went down within the year from the date of publication of last year's rating from 8.03 years to only 7.98 years," added the study.

In 2010 the number of years required to save for housing for residents of other countries was calculated. Residents of the USA and Canada do not have to save for too long - four years in Miami, 5.2 years in Montreal, 5.7 years in New York, 5.9 years in Los Angeles. Fairly short time of savings to purchase houses is required by residents of Riga (6.8 years), Helsinki (7.1 years), Tallinn (7.9 years), Brussels (8 years), Copenhagen (8.3 years), Lisbon (8, 4 years), Vienna (9.3 years) and Oslo (10 years).

Meanwhile, a shocking figure was quoted by the EUROMAG magazine that decided to count how long Muscovites would have to save for the acquisition of a decent housing with the area of ​​100 square meters -149 years.  

If a Muscovite decided to buy an apartment in Monaco, the savings period would be 362 years. However, they would have to save for a decent London apartment for 136 years. A purchase of an apartment in Paris is quite realistic for those boasting longevity and only takes 78 years. A flat in Florence overlooking the statue of David by Michelangelo would cost a Muscovite 76 years of austerity.

Incidentally, for those who want to live in Italy, the region of Umbria would be best. It would take a Muscovite 27 years to save up for a villa in the Italian province near the city of Perugia. It turns out that there is a very realistic chance after hard work in the Russian capital to age with dignity, growing olives, grapes, wheat and tobacco in the hills near Tuscany. A decent apartment in Barcelona requires only 33 years of savings.  

However, the above statistics is only true for the average citizen in Moscow because the average wage in other cities of the country is 23,000 rubles a month. Today, however, one does not have to put away money frugally for years, dreaming of a home of their own. Therefore, more and more Russians end up getting a mortgage. Even though they have to make payments for 15 years, this option seems much more affordable.

Maria Snytkova


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov