Russian Real Estate Accepts the Challenge

Article excerpt

For almost 70 years, the concept of private property was almost non-existent in Soviet Russia, so efforts to introduce a version of market-driven real estate to the new Russia are starting near ground zero. Without a system of title registration or even clear property lines between buildings, the task of transferring ownership is very difficult. Because the private ownership of dachaus (weekend cottages) was permitted under the Soviet system, it has served as a model for single-family home transfers. However, sales of multifamily and commercial properties are much more complex.

Other factors also hamper privitization, according to Vladislav N. Miagkov, vice president of the Russian Society of Appraisers. For example, although some apartment owners have purchased individual units, all land is owned by the municipality, so rights to renovate and rebuild are cloudy. Even more daunting is that privately owned and municipally owned units share the same building, with municipality tenants turning to that authority for repairs. In addition, there are no regulations to divide responsibility for care of the building's common elements among tenants.

Miagkov is working with Evgueni. S. Ozerov, director of the St. Petersburg State Technical University Interbranch Institute of Advanced Training to find ways to merge Western ideas and Russian realities into a viable real estate industry. …