The construction boom in Russia will result in a boomerang

26.10.2010 09:46
Bankers are seriously burned in lending to housing and are now very cautiously returned to the industry.

Over the past year, lending the construction industry increased tenfold - to 500 billion rubles. These optimistic data released recently, the head of the Association of Regional Banks of Russia (Arbre) Anatoly Aksakov.

It would seem - that they are signs of recovery in the industry. However, far more eloquent on the status of said other facts: almost one in eight bank loan for construction companies are now overdue, and the proportion of bad debts continued to grow.

sLost illusion
Pre-crisis boom and the construction sector has created credit boom of construction companies. In the real estate market is invested astronomical amounts of money, but they fought back with a vengeance: for every dollar invested in one year returns reached a half. On average, in 2006-2008, housing rose in price by 32-38% annually. Demand has become the locomotive of growth in incomes and, of course, the mortgage. At the same time increased and the amount of donations collected commercial real estate, growing and consumption of square meters in the face of growing companies - the tenants business offices.

In general, the market reigned belief in continuous and unbridled growth in the value of the squares constructed that only whet the bankers. According to the Central Bank, the share of loans to the construction sites, the total loan portfolio at 1 January 2009 amounted to 6,1%.

However, the fall of 2008 came the financial crisis has greatly affected the situation with the lending. Among all sectors of Russian economy suffered the most as just a building complex: the demand for property has dropped, the Russians have taken a wait in the hope of the collapse in prices. In this situation many developers were not able to repay the loans. As a consequence, banks have changed their attitude towards the once one of the most popular industries.

"Since real estate - a product with high absolute value and require a very large investments, in a time of upheaval in the economy of construction loans become more risky for banks," - says a leading analyst of the Arbat Capital, Michael Zavaraev. By the end of 2008, the experts talked about the almost total cessation of lending to construction companies.

Formally, however, the banks gave out loans to builders in late 2008 - early 2009, but to get them was nearly impossible. So, according to the Russian Builders Association, the interest rates for "construction" loans reached 25% per annum and the application considered too long and carefully.

In fact, lending to property developers has become a process of restructuring the debt of companies: not being able to pay, they take new loans to repay old ones, and banks were forced to go for it not to bear huge losses due to loss of reserves. However, the building itself is almost frozen. "Construction of new facilities decayed, and the already constructed developers were in no hurry to enter into service", - tells about the time the head of customer relations and marketing IFC Solid Alexander Smith.

According to statistics from Federal State Statistics Service, in 2008 the pace of housing construction in Moscow declined to 3.28 million square meters. m, which was 32% lower than in 2007 and 40% less than the planned volume for 2008. In this situation many developers have been brought to bankruptcy and forced to cede part of the business or assets given to creditor banks.

Unexpected legacy
That was at least partly to blame bankers themselves. They provide loans, often without sufficient collateral and relying solely on future growth in property values. And it is not always their expectations were secured demand: yes, residential real estate built on a huge scale, but it is related mainly to the premium segment.

No less to blame in the collapse of the market and builders. "There were many examples of misuse of funds allocated to construction companies. So, are involved in money for the construction of one object and then redirected to projects that seem to builders are a higher priority, or on projects where there was a tough situation with creditors or government agencies. This happens very often "- gives the example of Anatoly Aksakov.

As a result, something happened that had happened, and the level of delay that falls on the construction industry, proved to be quite large. It continues to grow and now. According Aksakov, some companies have achieved at the beginning of the crisis rescheduling of loans, and could not solve their financial problems, and their credits transferred to the category of late. "However, we can confidently say that no fatal falls and explosive growth delay, which some experts predicted, has not happened", - the expert adds.

However, bankers, and that was enough to burn on bad debts and no less problematic pledges, many of whom still lie dormant on the balance sheets of credit institutions. According to director of the department of banking regulation and supervision of the Central Bank Alexey Simanovsky, to the recent time, Russian banks have accumulated on the balance sheets of non-core assets of 2 trillion rubles, of which 70% were in real estate.

Cautious steps
Despite the rise, which now shows the Russian economy, the construction industry with a delay out of the crisis. According to the Federal State Statistics Service, the volume of delivery of housing in Russia for the first nine months of 2010 declined even to the same period last year to 5,5% - to 33 million square feet. m. Nevertheless, some recovery in lending to the construction sector is observed. According to the vice-president of First Republic Bank Andrei Churakova, "chaos, with pricing goes, there is an understanding of economics and project conditions."

To the credit thaw hints and statistics: According to the Central Bank, the share of loans for construction, in the total portfolio of banks since the beginning of the year to July, up from 6,1% to 6,5%. Of course, this indicator is embedded and the proportion of restructured debt, but are completely and new contracts. In part, this contributes to the state, stimulating lending to the sector and trying to refocus the builders of luxury housing at affordable. So the program HMLA Stimulus, which provides a guarantee repayment of the housing, allowed banks to enter into new contracts for 25 billion rubles.

As reported by the "Profile" adviser predpravleniya Bank AB Finance Tatiana Schwab, to finance the construction of economy class housing programs "Stimulus" and "New" this year the bank has allocated a limit of 1.3 billion rubles. Loko-bank program "incentive" will participate in building a satellite town of New Stupino - its investments amount to 300 million rubles, about 1 billion offer HMLA (for a total project cost of 3 billion rubles).

With regard to the overall market, banks are still not ready to assume construction risks, and therefore very cautious. According to head of credit department of Bank Interkommerts "Artem Mukhanov, more and more lending institutions began to work on the scheme of redemption from the developer of the planned space at a discount, and independent of their implementation.

"The advantage of this scheme is to reduce project risk while fully funding the project, as well as the possibility of selling apartments on the primary market. And yourself, home buyers will be treated to the project with great confidence, knowing that a particular bank is already the deal "- he said.

Vice-President of PSB Melikhov Maxim as one of the new realities of the market highlights the "point" of work with construction companies. If, before the crisis had an interest in working with nearly every major player in the market, now the bank is coming to a detailed financial assessment of the potential borrower`s portfolio of projects, reputation in the market and run the project.

"As an example, companies are building significant amounts of residential property under contracts with government agencies such as Ministry of Defense, the Federal Customs Service and other similar projects - guaranteeing the implementation of the housing, - said the banker.

Predpravleniya Sovcombank Nikolay Zhuravlev also talks about the new principles of operation of the bank with the builders. "We give preference to projects that have been initiated by the completion of facilities and those who have the complete order with documentation, - he explains. - And we always take a pledge, in addition to the object to which the borrowed funds are invested, dopobespechenie as collateral finished property.

And it is desirable that this property has created a rental stream sufficient to cover interest rate and schedule of the loan. " Given all these options, the bank determines the rate at which it offers credit. It now varies from 14 to 18% annually, whereas last year reached 22%. "Interest in the construction industry to credit has never been, but the banks certainly changed my attitude. In 2008, the volume of lending in this segment have declined by about two times, and last year, by contrast, is growing at about 15-20% in the quarter, "- says Zhuravlev.

Deputy Director, Department of lending RosEvroBank Igor Glukhov says that beginning in 2010 and now the bank has signed a loan agreement with 41 companies of the construction sector for more than 2 billion rubles. "Before the crisis, in the first half of 2008 (that is, in the most prosperous time, at the peak) we have given credit to 2.3 billion rubles at the average rate of 9% per annum. Rate now stands at 13% per annum ", - said Glukhov. So, according to a banker, you should not think that the construction industry is in a sort of corral - loans to builders are granted, but now banks verify not only the specific object, but also the entire company, including affiliates.

The crisis has come back?
Interviewees "profile" bankers believe it is unlikely that the real estate market may soon be a new bubble. At least they all speak in one voice about the new "balanced" policy of risk management at the bank`s lending to builders and mortgage borrowers. Too much, they were burned during the crisis so quickly is not ready to make new experiments.

Experts also see no objective reasons for such pessimistic forecasts.

Current good performance on the number of loans are mainly related to the fact that the pent-up demand for housing is transformed into a demand for real, says Alexander Smith. And Anatoly Aksakov warns: "Many organizations put their trust that he would return at the same time, which was before the crisis - the easy money and a huge margin. I think that this would not be in vain and they are hoping for. People are just spoiled the situation that existed before the crisis. "

Director of the department of licensing and financial rehabilitation of credit institutions the Central Bank of Mikhail Sukhov believes that the crisis will clear the market from non-transparent and excessively risky players. "The builder builder alike. There are wealthy builders who are more or less survived the crisis, agreed with creditors. And they had something to give to the software. And there are other builders who risked or madly withdrew the money through his construction company and then went crying that property prices have fallen. "

However, the bankers a short memory, and when the construction market is once again operate at full capacity as they behave themselves - is still unknown. Perhaps the financial movers and shakers once again carried away earning excessive profits on housing - and then wait for a new credit bubble!

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