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Real Estate: Changes in the Legislation on Investment Activity


On June 22, the AEB Real Estate Committee held a webinar dedicated to new developments, trends and forecasts in the field of investment activities. 

The moderator of the event, Chairperson of the Committee Tatyana Kovalenko noted in her opening speech that the years 2020-2021 were a difficult time for the investment activity due to the global pandemic crisis. This is reflected, among other things, in the lowering of Russia's investment attractiveness index, which, according to analysts' assessments, has fallen to the level of 2014. Nevertheless, foreign investors are still interested in Russia.


Tim Millard, Head of Advisory Group at JLL Russia & CIS, presented an analysis of investments in real estate in Russia during the first half of 2021 and a forecast for the second half of the year. Tim mentioned that the Russian economy suffered slightly less from the pandemic crisis than many other countries and is recovering quite quickly.


The factors affecting the economic situation include oil prices, monetary policy, the ruble exchange rate, inflation and state support measures for business. The cumulative effect of these factors has resulted in the volume of investment in the Russian real estate market. Tim confirmed that volumes were back to where they were five years ago. However, the relatively high yields (about 10% in Moscow and St Petersburg) have kept investors interested as a whole, and also caused a structural "geographical" shift, as more investors are coming to Russia from Asia and the Middle East. The current crisis has limited investment in Russia in 2021 only to domestic capital, and cross-border activity will stay quite difficult in the near future, but once the global and national economies return to normal, this trend is expected to continue.  

Next, the current trends also include the increasing role of banks (including as independent investors, especially in industrial sectors and e-commerce), the growing demand for collective investments and the predicted separate attention of investors to warehouse and commercial real estate.


Ilia Lokhanin, a lawyer at Rödl & Partner, spoke on the innovations in the legal regulation of investments in Russia in 2021. First of all, it is about the so-called "golden passports" - a simplified procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Russia if certain requirements in the field of investment are met (a similar practice now exists in the U.S., some countries in Europe, Asia, etc.). The exact criteria for obtaining a "golden passport" have not yet been established: most likely they will be approved separately - after the adoption of the basic law currently under consideration in the State Duma. Ilia named possible criteria, as well as the probable date of entry into force of the new rules - in summer 2022.
After that, the provisions of the new federal law (№ 192-FZ of June 11, 2021) were highlighted: in terms of the differentiation of investors into "qualified" and "unqualified", the requirements of the law for the first ones and the limitation of access to certain investment instruments for the latter - as protection against higher risks, as well as the mechanism to expand this access (testing for individuals, which will be carried out starting from October 1, 2021).

In conclusion, Ilia Lokhanin spoke about the new GIS platform "Capital Investments", which is being designed to facilitate the interaction of participants in investment projects and which is created in the framework of the institution of agreements on the protection and promotion of investments (SZPK). The expert briefly recalled the main advantages of concluding SZPK for an investor, such as the "stabilization clause" (non-application of acts that may impair the project), tax preferences, possible subsidies or preferential crediting, etc.

Following their presentations, the speakers answered additional questions. Participants of the meeting expressed their gratitude for informative and interesting reports, as well as their wish to hold a similar event – based on the results of the year 2021.