Novosibirsk: A Siberian Gem Ready to Shine



Looking at emerging markets for international trends, Realty Biz News takes a look at one of Russia’s fastest growing metropolises. Novosibirsk, in Western Siberia, is a fast developing industrial Mecca in the center of some of Russia’s most pristine wilderness. With markets stabilizing now, the investment outlook for such under-served markets is quite remarkable according to some experts. Here’s a look at the luxury segment, amplified by rental and other spaces for a city of 1.5 million.

Novosibirsk celibrates (Vladimir Karev)

Novosibirsk celibrates (Vladimir Karev)

Novosibirsk is sometimes referred to as the “Chicago of Siberia” owing to the Russian town having grown faster to one million inhabitants than any other city in the world. Not unlike Chicago, which comes in second in the population race, the city on the banks of the Ob River is fast becoming Russia’s Chicago serving the mid-west role the “windy city” did in US expansion.

The third biggest city in the Russian Federation, Novosibirsk sports world class education, cultural, industrial, and civic attributes most Westerners would never attribute to anything in Siberia. Like most of the rest of Russia, the city is an enigma shrouded in perceptions long since irrelevant. While Siberia is dreadful cold in Winter, the reader needs to understand the size and geography of a region 150% larger than the United States inclusive of Alaska. An insider look at the city from a local there, via a new magazine or our group’s called “Our Russia”, tells more of Novosibirsk’s uniqueness and potential.

(Courtesy - the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre)

(Courtesy – the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre)

Size relativity wise, the Novosibirsk region (Oblast) is bigger than Holland, Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark put together. The region’s capital is the administrative and industrial hub, connected to the rest of Russia via a network of highways and the world famous Trans-Siberian Railroad. On the “value side” of the city’s offerings, such noted institutions as the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre (image above) and cultural icons, they accentuate the aforementioned industrial aspects, as well as education entities like Novosibirsk State University, one of the best schools in the country.

Novosibirsk Penthouse goes for £ 225,600

Novosibirsk Penthouse goes for £ 225,600 (Luxury Estate)

Russia experienced one of the most massive housing booms in any country’s history between 2000 and 2007, with secondary market prices skyrocketing some 436%. Even the primary market saw a boom at over 300%, but then in 2009 prices started to decline. Still Moscow prices saw stabilized growth up until 2012 and 2013. International political crises, and the eventual weakening of the ruble have had many detrimental effects. However negative the currency situation may have been, investors unloading rubles in real estate has made for a dynamic market today. In the luxury market money flows out of the country have created a high demand for high end properties, especially in major cities. Anastasia Mogilatova, CEO of the Moscow-based Welhome consulting company, explained to rbc.ru last December:

“In terms of demand, you could even forecast an increase in the high-end residential sector. The introduction of sanctions has limited international access for several types of Russian citizen, and accordingly it has become more difficult for them to buy property. For this reason, some of the demand for real estate abroad could move towards Russian property. In this scenario, there could be a lack of high-quality luxury property in the mid-term.”

Novosibirsk Oblast (Vladimir Karev)

Novosibirsk Oblast (Vladimir Karev)

The same Russian news portal reported this week Moscow being named the best place in Europe to invest in office properties too. For Novosibirsk the situation is similar (Use Yandex or Google translate) in that new mortgages are down by about one half, as are corresponding new construction projects. The mid term results of this will lead to a shortage of rental and mid-priced high-rise units for sale as construction focuses on filling back orders. by 2017, some experts predict prices will jump as they did in the early 2000’s, as demand exceeds supply. But it’s the luxury segment in cities like Novosibirsk that is most interesting for investors.

The situation is a simple prospective investment outlook in Novosibirsk. Other factors playing on the overall potential include; growing regional urbanization, industry expansion, and the new “Asia” focus precipitated by sanctions and other negative economic variables acting on the Russian economy. With that said, some experts claim western sanctions on Russia were just what the economy needed for a new growth state to exist. Even though interest rates and the demand for mortgages is down, its seems as if the Russian economy is already on the rebound.

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