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Dacha Sales Down But Not Out

Real estate specialists say its necessary to head 60 kilometers beyond the MKAD to find quality low cost dachas. Vladimir Filonov

If you are dreaming of your own summer cottage in the Russian countryside, now might be the time to start shopping, as real estate specialists report prices on Moscow dachas and land plots have dropped by nearly a third.

Low-end dacha properties saw a drop in demand last year that resulted in an overall price drop of 30 percent versus 2012, according to a report by real estate consultancy Megapolis-Service.

Sellers are overvaluing their dachas, said Dmitry Filippov, vice president of realtor Intellekt. "For example, a dacha put up for sale in 2012 at 2.7 million rubles went for 1.7 million rubles in 2013," he said.

"Properties that the seller thinks are worth 1 million to 1.2 million rubles ($30,000 to $36,000) are selling for 650,000 to 750,000 rubles," said Nadezhda Pyankova, director of Megapolis-Service in Elektrogorsk. "If a seller wants his property to go for a high price, he is better off delaying the sale for two to three years."

About 43 percent of deals in the dacha segment in 2013 were in the price range of 1 million to 1.5 million rubles. And location is a key element. Inexpensive dachas within a 30-kilometer radius of the Moscow Ring Road tend to be in poor condition. If a buyer wants a quality dacha made of brick or beam, he will have to look at least 60 kilometers beyond the capital, the report said.

The market outlook for the low-end dacha segment for 2014 will resemble last year, the report concluded. Low customer interest, price stagnation and only occasional seasonal spurts of interest are foreseen.

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