The Russian housing construction market is on the verge of a major change: residential construction will soon switch to a mechanism of project financing after a series of legislative initiatives are introduced. The new approach is intended to lower the risks associated with buying residential property at the construction stage, raise the trustworthiness and operational transparency of developers, and make banks play a more active part in the construction process as intermediaries ensuring the stability of the system.
The weighted average percentage rate for projects financed through the mechanism of project financing via escrow accounts is projected to be around 6-8%. At the end of December 2018, 77 projects comprising 183 sites with a total floor area of over 1.5 million square meters were implemented using escrow accounts. Among Russian regions, the Republic of Bashkortostan had the greatest number of such projects (around 24 projects), while the Moscow Oblast was leading by the total floor area of the projects (over 320 thousand square meters).
Stress testing of financial stability of the projects shows that in case of a 10% decrease in average market prices for all sites, 55% of the projects will remain creditworthy. Projects with a low resistance to changes in market environment and poorly balanced projects may require certain restructuring and an optimization of their parameters, while projects which are currently at early stages may be canceled. As for aggregated financial stability (the share of creditworthy projects at the construction stage), the best results are demonstrated by the Far Eastern, Central, Northwestern, and Ural federal districts.