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2.62.7 times in Rostov-on-Don, Krasnoyarsk, and Ufa; finally, less than doubled in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Whilst considering real (less inflation effects) housing prices, a particular attention should be paid to the dynamic of main macroeconomic indicators. Last year, consumer prices rose at 11.9%. The December 2007 average nominal USD/Rb. rate was 24.57 vis-vis 26.29 Rb. in December 2006. So, the 2007 USD/Rb. depreciation index accounted for 0.935, which means appreciation of the Rb. towards USD. Accordingly, the USD inflation index in Russia made up 1.197. The USD continued to depreciate in Russia, and its purchasing power sank roughly to the same degree as in 2006 (over 16%). On the three-year interval of 200507, the Rb /USD depreciation rate was 0.88, while the USD inflation index 1.537, and the USD purchasing power dropped nearly at 35%.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks As concerns the index of real (cleared from inflation of the both currencies) prices for housing (the IGS index92), its final values by 2005, 2006, 2007, as well as 20052007 relative to December 2004, across cities of the sample are given in Table 17.

Table Dynamics of the Average Specific Apartments Offer Price in 2004-Nominal price index IGS index City (region) Moscow 1.361 1.816 1.124 2.780 1.265 1.520 0.939 1.St. Petersburg 1.089 2.197 1.234 2.955 1.013 1.838 1.031 1.Yekaterinburg 1.204 2.274 1.083 2.965 1.119 1.903 0.905 1.Moscow 1.235 2.250 1.006 2.793 1.148 1.882 0.840 1.oblast** Novosibirsk 1.353 1.638 1.417 3.142 1.257 1.371 1.184 2.Perm 1.297 1.621 1.579 3.321 1.205 1.356 1.319 2.Tyumen 1.852 1.370 1.550 1.145 Krasnodar* 1.097 1.734 1.524 2.900 1.020 1.451 1.273 1.Krasnoyarsk 1.104 1.324 1.808 2.642 1.026 1.108 1.510 1.Ufa 1.302 1.734 1.157 2.611 1.210 1.451 0.967 1.Yaroslavl 1.548 2.007 1.086 3.375 1.439 1.679 0.907 2.Kemerovo 1.375 1.149 Izhevsk 1.481 1.871 1.015 2.813 1.376 1.566 0.848 1.Tver 1.269 1.991 1.338 3.382 1.179 1.666 1.118 2.Rostov-on-Don 1.265 1.669 1.278 2.698 1.176 1.396 1.068 1.Penza 1.117 1.660 1.038 1.389 Ulyanovsk 1.200 1.767 1.447 3.069 1.115 1.479 1.208 1.Petropavlovsk- 1.195 1.339 1.185 1.896 1.111 1.120 0.990 1.Kamchatsky Sterlitamak 1.069 0.893 (Bashkortostan)) As evidenced by data of Table 17, the greatest real price rise rates for housing in were registered in Krasnoyarsk (over 1.5 times, followed by Perm (a. 32%), Krasnodar (over 27%), and Ulyanovsk (some 21%). The respective rates in Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Tyumen, Tver, Rostov-on-Don, and St. Petersburg were under 20%, with St. Petersburg showing the most moderate price rise rate (3%). Meanwhile, there is a big group of cities whose real housing prices (inflation-adjusted) were on the decline Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Yaroslavl, Izhevsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and, finally, Moscow oblast where the IGS index value was the smallest one and roughly matched that of Izhevsk (0.840.85). Meanwhile, it should be noted that 2007 became the first calendar year out of the three-year interval of 2005when the real housing prices were down.

The IGS index is calculated by the following formula: IGS=Itsr/Iir=Itsd/Iid, where Itsr Rb. denominated housing price index, Iir consumer price index, Itsd USD denominated housing price index, Iid = Iir/ Idrd index of the USD inflation in Russia (relative to the consumer price dynamics), Idrd Rb. depreciation against USD index.

cember cember cember cember cember cember December December December December December 2005 to DeDecember 2006 to DeDecember 2007 to DeDecember 2005 to DeDecember 2006 to DeDecember 2007 to DeSection Institutional Problems Overall, by results of the noted three years the peak values of IGS index (between 2 and 2.2) were noted in Tver, Yaroslavl, Perm, and Novosibirsk. They were a bit lower (between 1.92.0) in Ulyanovsk, Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg, while in Krasnodar, Izhevsk, the city of Moscow and Moscow oblast they accounted for a. 1.8, and in Rostov-on-Don, Krasnoyarsk and Ufa between 1.7 and 1.8. It was Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky where the real housing price rise rate was the slowest one (just slightly over 1.2 times).

The process of appreciation of the Rb. over recent years has made it appropriate to reference the data on housing prices in Rb. equivalent and compare the dynamics of price rise indices in USD with those in Rb. equivalent (Table 18). As a reminder, out of all the cities presented in the sample it was only three of them (Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Krasnodar), and Moscow oblast (due to its immediate proximity to Russias capital) that have still stuck to the USD price quotations.

Table Comparative Dynamics of the Average Specific Apartments Offer Prices in USD and Rb. Equivalents in USD/sq.m. Rb/ sq.m.

City (region) December December December December December December 2007/December 2007/December 2006 2007 2006 2006 Moscow 4,828 5,429 1.124 126.93 133.01 1.St. Petersburg 2,593 3,200 1.234 68.17 77.76 1.Yekaterinburg 2,415 2,615 1.083 63.51 64.06 1.Moscow oblast 2,522 2,536 1.006 66.3 62.13 0.Novosibirsk 1,658 2,350 1.417 43.59 55.0 1.Perm 1,430 2,258 1.579 36.61 54.87 1.Tyumen 1,600 2,192 1.370 42.00 53.72 1.Krasnodar 1,370 2,088 1.524 36.02 50.74 1.Krasnoyarsk 1,115 2,016 1.808 29.31 54.29 1.Ufa 1,729 2,000 1.157 45.85 49.00 1.Yaroslavl 1,758 1,910 1.086 46.22 46.83 1.Kemerovo 1,369 1,883 1.375 36.00 45.76 1.Izhevsk 1,837 1,865 1.015 49.00 45.70 0.Tver 1,370 1,833 1.338 36.02 44.91 1.Rostov-on-Don 1,385 1,770 1.278 36.41 41.00 1.Ulyanovsk 859 1,243 1.447 22.58 30.55 1.Sterlitamak 867 927 1.069 22.8 22.72 0.(Bashkortostan As in the case of IGS index, atop of the group of the leading cities in terms of the Rb.denominated price rise for housing were Krasnoyarsk (1.85 times), Perm (1.5 times), and Ulyanovsk (at 35%). In Tyumen, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and Tver, the price rise was within the range between 24 and 28%, in St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don 10 and 15%, while the value of the index in Ufa, the city of Moscow, Yaroslavl and Yekaterinburg was under 7%.

Finally, in Moscow oblast, Izhevsk and Sterlitamak the housing prices were down in absolute terms.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks The price dynamics in Rb. equivalent displayed dynamics slightly differing from those in forex equivalent:

1) the first group (the city of Moscow, Moscow oblast, Yekaterinburg, Izhevsk, Yaroslavl) was also joined by St. Petersburg, while the dynamic somewhat changed, that is, the prices were stable and even declined in absolute terms (in Moscow oblast and Izhevsk);

2) the second group (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Ufa, Tyumen, Ulyanovsk, Sterlitamak) was joined by Rostov-on-Don, and the level of price rise indices declined;

3) the third group (Novosibirsk, Tver, Perm, Krasnodar) lost St. Petersburg and Rostov-onDon that had moved to the first and second group, respectively;

4) the fourth group remained unchanged (Krasnoyarsk).

The above data evidence that after a rapid price rise in 2006 the housing markets in Russias cities have stabilized, by and large, in 2007: stabilization was noted in the beginning of the year in the city of Moscow, Moscow oblast, Yekaterinburg, Izhevsk, and Yaroslavl, while in other cities (except for Krasnodar and Krasnoyarsk) stabilization occurred between May and June. Meanwhile, the length of stabilization was between 34 months and 10 months (the city of Moscow) and even 12 months (Moscow oblast, Izhevsk, Yaroslavl). Some cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, Novosibirsk, Tver, Rostov-on-Don), as well as Moscow oblast, underwent a new price rise in the autumn 2007.

The causes for stabilization were already partly considered in some papers published back in 200693.

The main cause was that after prices had skyrocketed in the previous 23 years buyers, whose savings proved to be insufficient to purchase housing (particularly with a mortgage back-up), were ultimately off the market.

Main peculiarities of the 2007 housing price dynamics were as follows:

- some differences in the dynamic and amount of the price rise in Rb. and USD equivalent driven by the Rb. appreciation against USD (at 9.4% as of the end-year);

- an additional fall in the value of the real price increment (exclusive of inflation of the Rb.

and USD) vis--vis nominal prices in conjunction with a sudden rise in consumer prices (at 12% as of the late-2007);

- substantial differences in terms of moments of the start and length of stabilization and, consequently, between final values of annual price increments across different cities.

While the first two causes are considered in every possible detail in the frame of the analysis of macroeconomic indicators and indices of real (exclusive of inflation) housing prices (Table 17), the last one can be explained while examining price dynamics in the medium- and long-term retrospective.

5. 4. 2. Regularities of the Advancement of the Housing Markets of Russias Cities in the Medium Run In 200507, the housing markets of Russias cities witnessed a regular price rise cycle, which resulted in doubling and tripling offer prices (between 2.6 and 3.4 times). Considering results of the past three years, the sample of cities presented in Table 1 can be broken into two subgroups: (1) Tver, Yaroslvl, Perm, Novosibirsk, and Ulyanovsk where prices more than tri Sternik G.M. Tseny predlozheniya zhilya v gorodakh Rossii v 19902006 godakh: analiz i prognoz. www.realtymarket.ru, January 2007. Malgynov G.N., Sternik G.M. Rynok zhilya//Rossiyskaya ekonomika v 2006 gody. Tendetsii I perspektivy (Issue 28). M., IET, 2007, p. 694727.

Section Institutional Problems pled; and (2) Yekaterinburg, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Izhevsk, the city of Moscow and Moscow oblast, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnoyarsk, and Ufa, where prices grew 2.63-fold94.

The price rise was noted in all these cities/ regions, albeit it appeared dysinchronous:

during the first calendar year (2005) the increment rate varied from 9% (St. Petersburg) to 55% (Yaroslavl), while that over two years (200506) between 46% (Krasnoyarsk) and 211% (Yaroslavl), and over three years (200507) between 161% (Ufa) and 238% (Tver).

Hence, the price dynamics over the three calendar years made it impossible to identify price rise regularities common for all the cities, thus necessitating an analysis of longer dynamic series.

The monitoring of housing conducted in Moscow since June 1990 and in other cities since 199299 provides an opportunity for an objective examination of the markets behavior on the basis of available dynamic series of the average monthly specific prices for apartments (Table 19).

Table Stages of Advancement of the Housing Market in Capital Regions and Their Duration in 1990Name of the stage Moscow St. Petersburg Moscow oblast 1 2 3 Start and take-off June 1990 December 1991 March 1995 May Stabilization April 1995 June 1994 December 1996 August 1998* October 1998** July 1998*** Crisis September 1998 November 1998 August 1998 June 2000 October 2000 December Post-crisis renewal July 2000 November 2000 January 2000 December 2001 January 2003 February Stabilization-2002 January 2002 March 2002 August 2002 July Jubilee rise**** February 2003 August Oil-driven growth September 2002 August 2003 August 2002 June 2004 July 2004 September Stabilization-2004 July 2004 July 2004 October 2004 September July 2005 July 2005*** Mortgage and oil- backed July 2005 August 2005 October 2005 growth June 2006 December 2006 September Transition to stabilization July 2006 September 2006 December 2006 December Stabilization-2007 December 2006 December 2006 December 2006 October 2007 March 2007 October Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is a particular case in this respect, as in 200507 the price rise rate there was under 1.9 times, which can be attributed to the fact that this city is located far from most of those presented in the sample.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks Table 19 (continued) 1 2 3 Growth renewal October 2007 March 2007 October 2007 December 2007. December 2007. December Name of the stage Novosibirsk Yekaterinburg Tver Start and take-off December 1991 December 1991 June 1994 June Transition to stabilization July 1994 July Stabilization-1997 December 1996 July 1994 July 1998 *** September Crisis July 1998 August 1998 October 1998 December 2000 June 2000 September Post-crisis renewal January 2001 July 2000 October 2000 December 2001 December 2001 April Stabilization-2002 December 2001 January 2002 May 2002 January 2003 August 2003 December Oil-driven growth January 2003 September 2003 January 2004 March 2005 December 2004 July Stabilization 20042005 March 2005 January 2005 August 2004 June 2005 March 2005 March Mortgage and oil- backed July 2005 April 2005 April 2005 growth June 2007 December 2006 December Transition to stabilization June 2007 September Stabilization-2007 December 2006 June 2007 December 2007 September Growth renewal September 2007 September 2007 December 2007 December Name of the stage Rostov-on-Don Perm Ulyanovsk Stabilization-2002 December 2001 December 2001 December 2001 May 2003 November 2003 March Oil-driven growth June 2003 December 2003 March 2003 May 2004 February 2005 December Stabilization-2004-2005 June 2004 February 2005 December 2004 August 2005 August 2005 July Mortgage and oil- backed August 2005 August 2005 July 2006 growth March 2007 May 2007 April Stabilization-2007 March 2007 May 2007 April 2007 August 2007 August 2007 December Growth renewal August 2007 August December 2007 December Name of stage Izhevsk Yaroslavl Krasnodar Stabilization-2002 December 2001 December 2001 October 2002 May 2004 December 2002 March Section Institutional Problems Table 19 (continued) 1 2 3 Oil-driven growth May 2004 December 2002 March 2004 June 2005 July 2003 February Stabilization 20032005 June 2005 July 2003 February 2005 January 2006 December 2004 November Mortgage and oil- backed January-2006 December-2004 November 2005 growth April 2007 December 2006 May Stabilization-2007 April 2007 December 2006 May 2007 December 2007 September 2007 July Growth renewal September 2007 July 2007 December 2007 December * - Fluctuating stabilization (with roll-back).

** - Asymptotic stabilization (with crawl-up).

*** - Stabilization (with adjustment).

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