Affordable housing for young families

The “housing issue” is a sore problem for most young families in Russia. Who can afford square meters of Russian real estate?

Affordable housing for young families
Vladimir Antonovich Nikulin. Young. 1993

Own apartment in a cozy area, where all the conditions for comfortable living are created, there are kindergartens, a clinic, schools and supermarkets – that is, everything that is so necessary for a young family raising children, or your own house in the bosom of nature, not far from highways, leading to the city center, to the place of work – this “blue dream” of every second Russian family.

According to statistics, more than 70% of Russians are dissatisfied with their own housing, considering it too cramped, uncomfortable, located in a non-prestigious area that does not meet their needs. And more often than not, the apartment at the disposal of the family really does not allow to allocate, for example, a separate room for each child, and does not even correspond to the official standards of living space. For young families who are just starting a life together and planning to have children, the housing issue is even more acute, because such a family does not yet have their own savings, so literally a few young Russians have the opportunity to buy an apartment.

Comparison of the average wage in different regions of Russia and the cost per square meter of living space in large cities clearly shows that an ordinary Russian will be able to save up for his own housing only after several decades of severe savings.

So, for example, in Lipetsk, the average salary last year, according to official statistics, was 15.5 thousand rubles, and the average cost of 1 square meter was 39.8 thousand rubles. The cost per square meter in Saratov is slightly lower – 32.7 thousand rubles, however, the average income of the population here is less – only 14.5 thousand rubles. And in the Tula region, where the average wage last year was fixed at 15.6 thousand rubles, the cost of housing is on average 42.8 thousand rubles.

Of course, Moscow is the leader in terms of average wages in the Russian Federation – more than 40 thousand rubles a month, but the price of an apartment here reaches the Russian maximum – more than 167 thousand rubles per square meter. Recently, the top three in the cost of housing in Russia looks like this:

  1. Moscow
  2. St. Petersburg
  3. Sochi

Sochi real estate rose sharply in value after the southern capital of Russia acquired the status of the future host of the 2014 Olympics. The fourth largest cost per square meter is occupied by the Moscow region – an average of 42.9 thousand rubles.

The smallest gap between the average wage and the cost of housing is observed in the far northern regions, where the oil and gas industry is developed and the demand for apartments is not expected to increase. So, in the Nenets and Chukotka Autonomous Districts, the average cost of housing in the second quarter of 2011 was set at 41.35 thousand rubles per square meter, and the average salary in 2010 reached 47 thousand rubles..

Affordable and comfortable housing for Russian citizens
Vladimir Fedorovich Stozharov. New North. 1962

It is easy to calculate that a family of two, earning an average wage, will take at least 11 years to buy a tiny 42 square meter apartment in Lipetsk. And this is provided that literally all the income will be set aside for the coveted purchase, and there are still operating expenses – food, payment for a rented apartment, clothes, so that the former newlyweds will be able to enjoy their own housing closer to retirement age.

So, at the moment, when the cost of housing both in the primary and secondary real estate markets is rather slowly, but steadily growing, but the level of wages cannot please with such a trend, only a very small percentage of Russians can buy their own housing without attracting credit funds.

State assistance in solving the “housing problem”

According to the habit left from the times of the Soviet Union, many residents of the Russian Federation do not give up hope for the help of the state in solving the housing problem. But today only limited categories of Russian citizens can get free housing, such as:

  • veterans of the Great Patriotic War who took a direct part in hostilities;
  • war invalids;
  • military personnel;
  • orphans who have reached the age of majority and leave orphanages;
  • participants in the liquidation of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant;
  • large families with more than 4 children;
  • and finally, citizens who are registered as in need of improvement in living space.

Do not forget that funding the allocation of free housing is very slow, so it often takes several decades to wait for a new apartment. In rare cases, such as, for example, the anniversary of the end of the war, this process is intensified, but mainly at the expense of other categories of people on the waiting list.

Youth - Affordable Housing
Ivan Gorbachev. At the blue screen. 1976

There is also a state program to help young families, since the housing issue, of course, has a negative impact on the demographic situation in the country – not all young families are at risk to have a child while living in a rented apartment or in the same house with their parents. The first federal subprogram “Provision of housing for young families” was designed for the period from 2002 to 2010, during the period of its operation more than 130 thousand families in different regions of Russia were able to purchase apartments with the help of the state. Currently, a new subprogram with the same name has begun to operate, its duration is from 2011 to 2015, it is planned that it will help improve the living conditions of another 170 thousand families.

According to this state program, young families, one of whose members has not reached the age of 35, with or without children, full and incomplete, can expect to receive a subsidy of 30% (for childless young couples) and 35% (for families with children) from the market value of housing. The subsidy can be spent on buying or building your own home. But this program still has some drawbacks that significantly limit the number of young families who are eligible to use such state assistance..

Firstly,in order to qualify for a subsidy, a young family must be recognized as needing better housing conditions at the place of their residence by local authorities. Living space standards are set separately in each region and can vary from 6 to 15 square meters per person. For example, in St. Petersburg, the norm is set at 9 square meters per resident of a separate apartment or house..

Secondly,When applying for a subsidy for the purchase of housing, a young family must prove to the authorities that they are able to pay the remaining part of the cost of the apartment on their own, that is, provide information about their savings, average income and wages. Thus, really low-income families cannot take part in this state program..

Thirdly,the subsidy is allocated for the purchase of a certain number of square meters of housing. The standard is set at 18 square meters per person for a family with children, so that when purchasing a three-room apartment of 90 square meters, a family of three can count on a subsidy of 35% of the cost of 54 square meters, the rest of the living space will have to be paid from their own family budget … A young family without children is eligible for a subsidy to purchase only 42 square meters of living space.

Affordable Housing
Philip Andreevich Malyavin. Family portrait. 1869-1940

It should also be borne in mind that in different regions of Russia (a total of 80 federal entities of the country take part in the Housing for Young Families state program) the project is being implemented at different rates, since funding is carried out partly from the federal, partly from the local budget.

As you can see, it is difficult to do without a mortgage loan, even in the case of a state subsidy for the purchase of housing, because the remaining cost of an apartment or house can be quite a substantial amount. And here the main point is the percentage that the young family will have to pay on the mortgage loan. In Russia as a whole, the average percentage of a mortgage loan last year ranged from 17.5% to 20.7% in rubles and 11-13% in dollars, almost all banks put forward an initial payment of 20% to 30% as one of the lending conditions the cost of housing. Interestingly, since 2011, young families can use maternity capital (365.698 thousand rubles) as an initial payment for housing without waiting until the youngest child is 3 years old. By the way, there is an opportunity to spend maternity capital on building your own home..

The state program establishes a preferential mortgage loan for young families in the amount of 14% per annum in rubles, but the rate may vary depending on the conditions of the bank where the borrowers applied and the region of the country.

Thus, at present, the young family cannot hope only for state assistance in solving the problem of their own housing. Analysis of own income, accurate calculation of the amount of monthly payments, careful choice of the bank where the mortgage loan will be obtained – remain the most important conditions for a successful solution of the housing issue.

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