Where is quarantine most convenient? In a country house with its own plot, many Muscovites decided in March 2020. This is proved by statistics shared by real estate experts with Forbes. “Compared to the first quarter of 2019, the demand for rental suburban housing increased by 14%,” says Oksana Polyakova, deputy director of the rental department of Inkom-Real Estate apartments. The increase, she said, occurred "thanks to the activity of employers in the last decade of February and in March."
“In January, no one called about renting a guest house. In February, three watched, some took off before June. From the beginning of quarantine, I receive three calls a day, and sometimes more, ”wrote architect Ekaterina Semikhatova on her Facebook page. There are many similar testimonies on social networks in recent weeks: users ask if one of their friends is renting a summer house, and they themselves share options for renting houses located even in the villages of the Tver region.
According to Inkom-Real Estate, which deals mainly with relatively inexpensive properties, 57% of applications from tenants are for lots with a rental rate of less than 90,000 rubles per month. According to Polyakova, today you can still find "inexpensive options (30,000-50,000 rubles a month), and in different, even prestigious areas." “The most affordable country houses are being washed out of the exposition. However, there is no shortage and the assortment is quite diverse, ”the expert assures.
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A completely different situation in the elite housing market. According to the consulting company Knight Frank, the number of requests for rental of suburban real estate in this segment in the first quarter was twice as high as for the same period of 2019. “People who have just decided to start looking for a country house, of course, are somewhat surprised that even in their expensive budget from $ 20,000 to $ 40,000 a month there are no more houses satisfying demand - modern, in a good location, with a swimming pool and other options, ”says Oleg Mikhaylik, director of the Knight Frank suburban real estate department. According to him, there are almost no such houses on the market - "they remained only in the segment higher, from about $ 60,000 to $ 100,000 per month."
“Tenants are calling in high budgets, from € 30,000 per month - there is nothing to offer! - confirmed on his Facebook CEO of Kalinka Realty agency Ekaterina Rumyantseva. “Last spring, they looked at 10-15 options, the owners as soon as they were sophisticated to lure to themselves.” According to Rumyantseva, her company in March 2020 closed more rental transactions for suburban real estate than for the entire previous year.
“People wonder why even in a budget of $ 20,000 to $ 40,000 a month there are no more houses”
What kind of real estate are you talking about? According to Knight Frank, the average area of a high-budget cottage offered for rent in the first quarter was 756 square meters. m., 42% of the lots have an area of 400-700 square meters. m, 56% are concentrated on Rublevskoe highway, 35% - on Novorizhskoye.
Even those who live in country houses themselves want to rent cottages. “Customers who already have country houses (5, 7, 10 km from Moscow) do not know what will happen in the summer, whether they can take their families to the sea, or the borders will be closed,” Mikhailik explains. “People are making such a request as a“ distant summer house ”(60-80 km from Moscow) in order to transport their family there in order to enjoy nature, silence, fresh air in the warm summer months.”
The unusual activity of tenants of suburban housing is associated with quarantine, experts interviewed by Forbes are sure. “Traditionally, February-March-April are unpopular months for suburban rent in the suburbs,” says Oksana Polyakova from Incom. According to her, as a rule, there is a lull in the market at this time - “after the January holidays and on the eve of the warm season”. “Non-seasonal demand this year was provoked exclusively by quarantine. In late February and March, many tenants rented houses for March-April (often the possibility of extending the lease agreement was stipulated), ”Polyakova confirms.
“In the high-budget segment, it was unprofitable for owners to rent houses for the summer or for a short period, since the risks of their depreciation exceeded the benefits of letting the property out for a short time,” explains Mikhailik from Knight Frank. But, the expert emphasizes, “in connection with the situation with coronavirus, very many decided to move out of town, so in March it was very in demand short-term rental, from about 3-4 to 6 months.” “Now the owners make concessions and rent expensive houses for the short term, although from 6 months, still it’s difficult to find a really high-quality house for a couple of months, especially now when the demand for rent has exceeded the supply,” Mikhailik concludes.
Prices for expensive cottages, according to Knight Frank, have risen by 21% since the beginning of the year, but this is mainly due to the fall of the ruble - many owners continue to link the price of renting expensive houses to the currency. “We don’t see a special price increase,” Polyakova from Incom says in turn.