The 2020 crisis has been a trigger for the majority of real estate market players to prioritise. Thanks to the proactive stance of the real estate community and an ongoing dialogue with the authorities, one of the main challenges of stabilising the industry has been addressed – the suspension of construction projects has been ruled out. Such a view was expressed by INTECO President Alexander Nikolaev at the “2020 Real Estate Market Results” conference organised by the Kommersant publishing house on 9 February 2021.
A business panel on the results of the real estate market for 2020 included representatives from Moskomstroyinvest (Moscow Committee for the Realisation of Construction Investment Projects and Co-Investment Agreements), Rosreestr (the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography), the Department for the Development of New Territories in Moscow, and the heads of leading development companies. Participants at the event discussed the development of the residential real estate industry in the new market conditions and ways for developers to overcome the impact of the pandemic, and also shared their predictions for what the housing construction industry can expect in 2021.
In his presentation, Alexander Nikolaev, president of AO INTECO, talked about the creation of an industry regulation that contains recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among workers in the construction industry: “Together with other developers, we put forward an initiative to update Rospotrebnadzor’s (Russia’s Federal Agency for Health and Consumer Rights) recommendations for safe work practices on construction sites in light of the new epidemiological situation. Our initiative was backed by the Construction Ministry of Russia and promptly incorporated into the updated official recommendations – an industry regulation that, as well as significantly reducing the direct costs related to the implementation of recommendations (around 20%), will reduce the decline in production by more than threefold. With the rising cost of foreign labour, this regulation is an important factor in controlling construction costs.” In addition, Alexander Nikolaev noted that each provision of the new regulation had been successfully tested in real construction conditions.The president of AO INTECO also pointed out that border closures as a result of the pandemic have had a negative impact on the labour force – due to a shortage of foreign workers, wages in the industry have increased by 30–50%: “An issue that is pertinent right now is the systematisation of migrant entry procedures even manually. We are preparing specific proposals in this area for the short- and medium-term. In the short-term, advice is needed from the Construction Ministry on how developers should prepare an application, and also a step-by-step explanation of what happens after an import application has been approved. Such an approach would simplify the process considerably for both the regulator and the interested developers,” Alexander Nikolaev explained.