In his comments to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily, Igor Efremov, Researcher of the International Department of Political Demography and Macrosociological Dynamics of the Gaidar Institute has expressed the opinion that young people’s lack of own housing is a serious factor affecting a demographic situation.

According to opinion polls, most young Russians dream of a spacious housing to live with a large family. However, such housing is rather costly for many young people even if a preferential mortgage is available. Hence the demand for micro-apartments. The Ministry of Construction plans commissioning of at least 50 million square meters of multi-family housing, but the average floorspace of such housing has largely decreased as seen fr om the data of the Single Resource of Developers (SRD). Problems on the real-estate market affect considerably the birth situation, warns Igor Efremov. All this points to the need of a reasonable government policy to create conditions for promotion of the youth’s well-being.

“Sample surveys of the Russians’ reproductive plans and behavior always point to the fact that a lack of housing of the required floorspace and quality is the main obstacle to desired, but postponed, births,” Igor Efremov says.

According to Igor Efremov, a wide-spread practice of buying by Russian young people a small and uncomfortable housing as their first one may provoke the so-called “delayed life syndrome.” “Young families do not implement their reproductive intentions here and now because they are saving funds to buy a decent housing for a comfort life with their children in future. However, their plans are constantly postponed because of appreciation of housing prices and insufficient growth in families’ incomes,” Igor Efremov explained.

Also, Igor Efremov believes that the situation is getting worse because of “an unhealthy rental housing market situation in Russia, particularly in large cities wh ere housing prices are often unaffordable to young families.” “Problems on the real-estate market affect considerably the birth situation in Russia,” the expert concludes.

In Igor Efremov’s opinion, to mitigate negative trends it is necessary to develop both the housing and rental markets and form an economic policy aimed at creating all necessary conditions for young people for self-realization, upgrading of professional skills, promotion of labor efficiency and thereby earning a higher income.