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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Auckland
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    5,086

    Default Dream homes turn into nothing but a nightmare in Russia

    From The New Zealand Herald
    Dream homes turn into nothing but a nightmare in Russia

    Wednesday June 7, 2006
    By Christian Lowe

    MOSCOW - Irina Tarasenko owns an apartment at No 42 on Moscow's Bolshaya Ochakovskaya Street, but the nearest she can get to it is the children's playground 14 floors below.

    She paid US$50,000 ($80,000) for her one-room property when the building was still on the drawing board.

    It was finished last year, but no one could move in because, it turned out, the developer had sold the same apartments to two or more buyers.

    "I still cannot believe it," said Tarasenko, standing next to the swings in the playground. The pregnant 34-year-old aid worker is staying with her sister.

    "I would like to have my own home," she said. "But the money I paid disappeared, as did the company I dealt with."

    Pressure groups say there are up to 100,000 people across Russia who have lost their money in similar schemes - the developer either swindled them or went bankrupt before finishing the job.

    But many victims blame the authorities as much as the developers.

    On May 19, several hundred people pitched tents on the lawn in front of the White House Government headquarters.

    "We have come to demand help," said protester Boris Kazyonov. "All we get is brush-offs and empty promises."

    It was a short-lived protest - riot police broke up the encampment after dark. But it was a rare example of civil disobedience and made the issue a political embarrassment for the Kremlin.

    Parliament, which is loyal to the Kremlin, arranged meetings with the protesters and promised a probe.

    Many people buy apartments "off-plan" because the conventional property market is so expensive. In Moscow, the average price for a 30sq m studio flat in a completed building is about $135,000.

    Authorities in Moscow - which has the highest concentration of fleeced investors - say they are not at fault.

    "It is not easy to tell them this but ... the only people to blame for all of this are the [victims] themselves," said Alexander Milyavsky, who represents Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's United Russia party in the Moscow City Council.

    "Like sheep, they handed over their money who knows where ... and did not even hire lawyers ... Everyone knows the only free cheese is in mousetraps."

    Although Luzhkov is under no legal obligation to help, said the councillor, he has set up a commission to make sure every family that paid money to developers will get an apartment.

    Victims' groups insist there is a case to answer. They accuse officials of knowingly selling land to shady developers - though no one has been charged for this.

    Putin last year named housing as one of four national priority projects but millions of people still live in the cramped, crumbling apartment blocks built by the Soviet Union. Officials are still drafting an action plan.

    "I am 34. I have been working since 21. To come to this point ... what has happened?" said Tarasenko. "If people have no hope of having a home, then what would our lives be?"
    DFTBA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Sad to say this article from the NZ Herald is so very true. The problem of new build flats being sold 2 or 3 times over is not as isolated as you would think.

    Property Investment in Russia is not for the faint hearted. For foreigners it is even harder. If you are interested in Property Investment in Russia, especially new build, then only deal with developers who have an established record over a number of years and find yourself a good Lawyer and Real Estate Agent that you can trust, this is very important.

    This means spending time researching the Russian market and building up relationships and if you are a foreigner, never, never proceed without a lawyer as the red tape for property purchase is complicated.

    Roger

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    257

    Default

    By the way is there anybody interested in Property Investment in Russia? ...may be not anymore after this article

    but if you are... I'll be very happy to chat about it


 

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