In early 2022, it was very difficult to predict how key industries would develop, and reasons for optimism amid sanctions and geopolitical events were few. What are the year results for the construction, industrial development and digital technologies, and what to expect from 2023, Natalia Savelyeva, Strategic Analyst, and Andrey Yarov, Head of Business Development Laboratory, from the International Company PERI, tell to INVEST FORESIGHT.
Despite extremely pessimistic forecasts for the construction industry for 2022, it was far from as disastrous as expected. Reasons for pessimism were numerous. A sharp rise in the key rate – up to 20% – played an important role. This reduced the availability of loans both for the population and for companies. However, in the summer, the situation began to improve. Preferential mortgage rate was three times lower than the key rate, which made the purchase of real estate almost the only way for the population to keep their savings. Plus, special subsidized mortgage programs from developers at low rates began to appear. This made it possible to support home sales and contributed to the recovery in demand.
Of course, the decline significantly affected the sales of developers, and we will not return soon to a record level of 2021, but the industry is not feeling so bad, and new projects are being brought to market. As for multifamily housing construction, then in 2023 it will presumably be at the level of 2020, that is, the drawdown in terms of volumes will be about 15-20% compared to 2022. In general, in 2023, the focus of developers will be on the sale of ready-made housing and completion of projects already started.
The fact that the preferential mortgage program at a rate of 8% for the purchase of apartments is extended until July 1, 2024l also plays positive role, and the so-called family mortgage became more affordable: now families can take it, where at least two children are under the age of 18. Program changes will help developers to support sales, but serious growth should not be expected – there are no prerequisites for it. As a result, some of the players will strengthen their position in the market, and those companies that were not able to build a competent strategy and grew due to the general growth of the market, will hand over their positions.
As for industry, new measures of state support have also appeared here – for example, industrial mortgages. They allow to get preferential credit for the purchase of industrial real estate, and there are also plans to introduce subsidies for the construction and repair of industrial facilities. Now the industry is actively rebuilding supply chains and developing new markets, updating and repair of production facilities is also underway. Due to large projects, in 2023 activity will be high – including within the framework of national projects and development of the Northern Sea Route, and seaports. It concerns metallurgical, oil and gas and other industries.
If we talk about digital technologies and their prospects in industry and construction, then here, of course, the sanctions could not but affect. At the same time, they affected not only, so to speak, “physical products,” that is, equipment and components, but also digital assets. So, for example, some Western suppliers of specialized IT solutions have withdrawn from assets in Russia and/or closed their representative offices, and also suspended the provision of services.
However, the mentioned events also had a certain positive influence, since they motivated domestic developers to develop their products more actively, and users were motivated to choose these products and invest their funds in them. Of course, it is too early to make unambiguous estimates, but maintaining such a situation will probably have a positive effect on the rate of development of local developers and on their technical level. If we talk about the digital market products, it should also be noted that there are solutions that were customized or even created specifically for the Russian market – due to its specifics or the absence of analogues from foreign vendors. In general, they were already demonstrating good dynamics, and with emphasis on improving efficiency and increasing technological sovereignty they gained additional attention and audience.
From the point of view of hardware solutions, the situation is a little more complicated, as not all necessary components are produced in Russia or their domestic launch can be quickly established. Import dependency rates by different products are different, so the average numbers are difficult to name. However, as practice shows, manufacturers are trying to find solutions, reorienting to the supply of components from friendly countries or to parallel import mechanism.
Currently, the state is taking a number of steps to increase level of digitalization. The main prerequisites for this are the query of both the state itself, and market participants for the growth of transparency, efficiency and cost reduction. One of the important tasks for the future is to create a whole infrastructure and global vision of architecture, landscape and interaction schemes of different market participants from different areas. This step is designed to ensure optimal interaction of their solutions and increase level of integration. The processes now can be built more flexibly as there is no need for rigid binding to established global solutions. On the other hand, a question remains about the level of technological maturity of existing solutions and availability of certain tools.