The fall in investment in Russian real estate exceeded 40% this year

In the first half of 2018, investment fell by 41% compared to the same period last year.
After the positive results of 2017, when real estate investment in Russia reached a maximum in the last three years, the market this year also awaited the inflow of investment funds. But the scenario of the development of events turned out to be different.

In the first half of this year, investors invested 60 billion rubles in Russian real estate (residential and commercial). ($ 1 billion). This is 41% lower than the same period last year. Such data are given in the report of the international consulting company CBRE.

 Thus, the Russian real estate market was short of 24.6 billion rubles. The fall is due to the indecisiveness of investors who were afraid to invest their funds on the eve of such important events of the current half-year as presidential elections of the country and the World Cup. Negative influence on investment sentiment was influenced by the expansion of the sanctions list and the subsequent depreciation of the ruble.

Irina Ushakova, Senior Director of Capital and Investment Markets, CBRE, explained to Vedomosti that the fall in investment activity in the Russian real estate market this year "was due to a decrease in the volume of transactions in the segments of commercial real estate." So, the segment of office real estate accounted for 46% of investment investments, and trade - 51%. "In turn, the segment of residential real estate due to the desire of developers to have time to buy and agree on a project before the amendments to the law on shared construction came into force showed growth - compared to the first half of 2017, the volume of transactions for the purchase of plots for construction and residential real estate projects increased by 43%, "Ushakova commented.

A similar trend is observed and financial analyst of the company "BCS Premier" Sergei Deineka. According to him, a significant drop in investment activity occurred in the commercial real estate sector. "Large investors (both foreign and domestic) are always deterred by a negative external background. This year, the negative level is high, "Deineka concludes.

 At the same time, investors did not try to leave the Russian market - the number of players remained at the same level, and the share of foreign capital is also comparable to the level of the first half of 2017 - 34% of the total volume of transactions, the CBRE report says. But in monetary terms, the volume of transactions decreased. So, this year there were only two major deals with the participation of foreign investors - the purchase of French Leroy Merlin stores in the K-Rauta trading network, as well as the American Hines Fund and the Czech PPF Real Estate bought together the Metropolis office complex. By the way, it was the deal to buy K-Rauta in St. Petersburg that brought this city to the first place in terms of investments - 48% of investments. Moscow for the first time in the history of the Russian real estate market took the second line with an investment share of 46%.

However, domestic investors still dominate in Russia. "We believe that the share of foreign investment in Russia in the coming years will not exceed 20%, until the market again opens up for foreign capital," experts of the consulting company Cushman & Wakefield noted earlier.

 Still the most attractive segment for real estate investors is housing, which, according to CBRE, accounted for 31% of total investment. At the same time, a significant share in these investments is occupied by transactions for the purchase of land for housing construction, as well as housing projects in Moscow and St. Petersburg - developers tried to have time to acquire and agree on the project before the changes in the legislation on shared construction came into effect.

The share of offices and retail real estate accounted for 29 and 25% of investment funds, respectively (against 34 and 32% in the first half of 2017). The least demand from investors is warehouses - they invested 10% of funds.

Earlier, market participants predicted that for the entire 2018, only 4-4.5 billion euros will be invested by investors in Russia's commercial real estate. However, the Russian investment market showed a slow start, and at the beginning of the year (I quarter) investments amounted to only 170 million euros, experts previously estimated Cushman & Wakefield.