Russia’s ‘Wild’ Property Market

During the communist era, housing in Russia was state-owned, but privatization began in the 1990s. Initially, proof of occupancy was all needed to obtain a title deed. As a result, the Russian real estate market is less than 20 years old compared to France’s 200-year-old market, and the ownership rate stands at 80%.

For those without homes, renting is the only option, but it remains expensive. For instance, renting a studio in Moscow costs around 1250 euros. This expense has led to shared accommodation becoming a popular choice.

Currently, Russia has between 60,000 and 80,000 real estate agents, only half of whom operate legitimately. The market is far from regulated, allowing anyone to self-declare as a professional.

Therefore, it is especially important to find a reliable company or online platform if you are planning to buy real estate in Russia. One of them can be considered to be

Reasons for Shared Accommodation in Russia

Finding accommodation in the country is challenging due to limited availability and high demand. More than merely liking a flat is required; landlords require strong applications to select tenants from among other applicants. Even if you rent a flat, the rates remain high, making shared accommodation a viable solution.

The primary advantage of sharing a flat is the lower rent. For the same price, you could afford a 15 m² house or a room in a flat with a shared living room, kitchen, and sometimes even a private bathroom.

Interior of modern apartment

In most cases, shared flats are managed directly among the existing flatmates, eliminating the need for excessive paperwork. A meeting with potential flatmates is usually sufficient to determine compatibility. However, it’s important to note that this is not a subletting situation, and all tenants must be registered on the lease.

In addition to rent, the budget for bills, service charges, and exceptional expenses is shared among all occupants. Typically, these costs are divided between flatmates, and joint shopping trips are also possible.

Sharing a flat also provides opportunities for social interaction and communal living. It fosters an open mind, exposure to different cultures and ways of living, and the chance to build strong relationships and share experiences. It can even involve mutual favors among flatmates.

Many students also seek shared flats, although the reality may differ from movie depictions. Living with international students is a great way to learn new languages and gain insights into different countries.

In conclusion, the real estate market in Russia remains a wild frontier, marked by a high ownership rate, limited availability, and a lack of regulation. The cost of renting is prohibitive for many, leading to a rise in shared accommodation. This trend, though borne out of necessity, offers a range of benefits, from lower costs to social connections and cultural exchanges.

As more Russians turn to online platforms for their housing needs, there’s hope for improved organization and transparency. Ultimately, navigating Russia’s complex real estate market requires careful consideration, trusted advice, and an open mind to new ways of living.