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Saint Petersburg Property, Real Estate, Realty
and property in St. Petersburg

An insight into property and real estate and how people live in St. Petersburg Russia might be of special interest, particularly to those who intend to live or better still those considering buying property (real estate) in St. Petersburg Russia.


Apartment Rentals in St. Petersburg Russia

If you're interested in renting apartments in St. Petersburg Russia please view our featured apartment and St. Petersburg apartment rental guide sections - we are able to source other accommodation requirements, such as mini-hotels and hotels upon request.

Property and real estate in St. Petersburg Russia

Property, types of housing in St. Petersburg

The only type of property (real estate) found in the city centre are apartments (flats). "Town" houses are becoming popular but can only be found in the city outskirts.

Apartment blocks rarely have more than 6 levels, and generally feature a lift with several street facing balconies. Windows either face towards the street, a rear court yard, or both.

Note: Russians start to count the floors/levels of a building from street level. Where the entrance level is 1 then 2, 3... this differs from the UK standard where it's ground level,1, 2...

Entrance to buildings are from the street or/and from the court yard depending upon the apartment's outlook. In general doorways are equipped with a basic mechanical combination lock, electronic key, manned security or a variant thereof.

Single storey apartments are the dwellings for the majority, although through development smart multi-levels are found. It's not unusual for apartments situated in the city centre to have ceilings in excess of 3 metres (9.8 feet).


Apartment Block Community

Wear and tear aside, the condition of stairwells depend on many factors…a lock on the entrance, inhabitants and the frequency of a cleaner.

Typical St. Petersburg commune door with multiple doorbells

A high percentage of apartments in St. Petersburg are still occupied by communes. These are basically apartments which have more than one family living in them and even sharing the same room. Although it is not their fault, they are often looked upon as undesirables within a building community as some of these people have little or no respect for themselves or the environment in which they live.

Typical St. Petersburg commune apartments can easily be identified from just the characteristics of the apartment door. It will have more than one doorbell and will be in pretty poor condition. Stairwell walls will also have a fair share of graffiti.

Fortunately these communes are on the decline as the occupants are taking advantage of the surge of companies and private individuals wanting to purchase and renovate these apartments.


Buying an apartment (flat) in St. Petersburg Russia

It's possible for non-Russians to purchase and own their own property in St. Petersburg, and many foreigners have done just that.

However, buying real estate or buying property usually has its complications and this is magnified in Russia!

Even more so if the property was bought with the intention of renovating it from the floor up, but it can be done.


Finance

The concept of mortgages (and personal credit) have recently been introduced to Russia. However bank interest rates for the loan facility can be extortionate. It is therefore recommended to sort any financial help in your own country and transfer funds into a foreign bank represented in Russia.


The Purchase

The property purchase itself is usually a hard currency transaction, literally handing over a block of cash. This procedure may frighten most people, but it is the norm. Almost all large purchases in Russia operate on this basis - although bank transfers are on the increase.


The Real Estate Market

With an increasing amount of foreign interest and investment in St. Petersburg, the city is fast becoming rich along with its inhabitants. This has a great effect on property prices, which has driven skywards over the past few years.


Price Guideline

Apartment prices vary dramatically depending upon size but are ultimately driven by location.

An original condition apartment in the city centre with an area of 100m2 (2-3 bedroom) will cost from 300 thousand USD's. Depending upon how lavish the renovation, add another 25 to 40 thousand USD's.

A fully refurbished apartment to western standards of the same size has a starting price of around 450 thousand USD's.


Bills - running costs

Annual property costs for an apartment vary according to its size and configuration. Every month a single combined utility bill is presented and consists of services to your apartment i.e. gas, electricity, lift maintenance, rubbish (trash) removal, heating etc... nonetheless this bill is very reasonable!
There is also an annual property tax of a few hundred roubles, so once the apartment has been purchased the running costs are extremely low.


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