Sign Of Trouble Ahead: Housing Prices Dropping In Russia’s Largest Cities Despite Growing Populations – OpEd


Russians have traditionally put their money into real estate viewing it as the perhaps the safest defense against future shocks. Consequently, prices of housing per square meter, especially in the largest cities where population numbers are growing, are among the best indicators of where the Russian economy really is, official claims notwithstanding.

That makes declines in such prices being reported for last month alone especially disturbing: In Kazan, prices fell by 0.8 percent; and in Moscow, by 0.3 percent; and in Ufa by 0.2 percent – monthly figures that point to annual declines of three to five percent or more (

Smaller cities reported stable prices or even increases; but if what is happening in the largest and most rapidly growing cities which typically are bellwethers spreads, then Russians will not only be poorer but will feel so because their apartments and houses are where most of their money is tied up.

And there is also the potential for some of them to find themselves “under water” as have owners in other countries, with their houses now worth less than they owe, a situation that has the potential to threaten the stability of the banks and force the Russian government to adopt a more interventionist approach, a difficult task given the demands for funding the war in Ukraine.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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