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Deurbanization : how Moscow will change after quarantine?

The first wave of the epidemic showed that it is not the best idea to sit on self-isolation in four walls. Waiting for a “walk” languished not only families with children, but also true homebodies. Of course, this made its own adjustments to the real estate market. Moreover, when we are increasingly hinted at a second wave of the pandemic.

At the beginning of self-isolation, many perceived this as an opportunity to stay at home, but the more the quarantine was extended, the clearer it became that it was time to look out for new housing, preferably with a “walking area”. People began to grab for rent summer cottages, houses, townhouses and even apartments in low-rise buildings. The most daring tried to buy right away.

The second factor that influenced the growth of interest in suburban housing was an unclear prospect with summer vacations — the borders were closed, people did not want to risk their health on overcrowded domestic beaches.

The third factor was remote work. Most people simply no longer need to live within walking distance from the office. Both companies and employees appreciated the benefits of this work. Some save time and money on travel, others have the opportunity to hire employees from the regions, saving on wages and renting jobs. According to the service, for the period of the pandemic — from April to August 2020 — more than 72 thousand vacancies about remote work were posted, which is 77% more than in the same period last year.

On the one hand, such a picture dictates a new trend, but how long-term is it? Undoubtedly, the desire to escape from the bustle of the city and “breathe in fresh air” are important parameters, but do not forget that large cities, and first of all Moscow, are business and financial centers, which means they will always be attractive to visitors. Not all companies can refuse offices, meeting rooms and a proven work scenario. Therefore, there can be no question of some kind of drastic desertion of megalopolises.

Moscow state of living.

Let’s do some calculations using the example of Moscow city. According to statistics, about 5 million people left the capital during the period of isolation. 3 of them have already returned — they go to kindergartens, to gyms and work in a familiar office. The remaining 2 million people still continue living outside the city, and half of them have rented housing. This means that only a million people have the prospect of buying a summer house, and even less in terms of families. If we compare this figure with the population of Moscow, it turns out that potential buyers of suburban housing is slightly less than 8%.
I do not want to say that suburban real estate is unpromising, I just want to show that everything goes on as usual. The demand for suburban housing has increased, but in the long term, everything will return to normal. People will continue to rent apartments, companies, offices, and renting houses will continue to be of the same predominantly seasonal nature.
By using artificial intelligence algorithms our service “Smart Infrastructure”, has analyzed the demand of people for suburban real estate and I can say with confidence that two important parameters are needed for the mass relocation of people from big cities:

1. Transport transit. For example, in Europe, people can afford to live outside the city and travel to the center every day to work. Residents of the same Moscow region have two options — to hustle for several hours in morning and evening traffic jams, or to get into crowded subway and electric trains, wait for buses and often walk a couple more kilometers from the stop to their home. The prospect is not the best, even if your own huge fragrant garden and a two-story house are on the second scale.

2. Own infrastructure. Cottage settlements and villages today are insufficiently provided with shops, educational and medical institutions and, which is important, cafes, restaurants, cinema and other places of recreation and leisure. Of course, there is a prospect of development in this direction. But still, you cannot reach civilization on foot.

So the coronavirus is far from the only reason for the change in people’s lifestyles, and even more likely just an additional point to the decision to move out of town. The true reasons for the change in lifestyle are much deeper.

Dmitry Tsyplakov, CPO of Fincase.
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