While the rouble dropped almost twice compared to $$ in the course of the year, overall level of prices in roubles rose by I’d say 20%. That made buying in Russia much more attractive from the dollar holder’s point of view. If you are looking for business opportunities, the rouble cost of two main expense components – labour and real estate – has not risen at all, which makes them in effect half as cheap as they were before the change of equation brought about by the Ukrainian crisis. Plus the market offers much more choice than only a year ago. Let me use this opportunity to urge those still playing with the idea of investing into Russia to consider doing so now. On the assumption that we are not heading toward a total disaster of the irreversible sort – a scenario that makes all and any considerations irrelavant – and political tremour subsides in the foreseeable future, now it may be a good time to start the Russian project you’ve been thinking of.
Take a look at The Moscow Times article Foreign Investment in Russian Commercial Property Hits 7-Year High. Big guys appear to be taking advantage of the price slump.
Locally, in Kandalaksha, I haven’t noticed much of a change in rouble prices for apartments or garages over the last year or two. Or for wages.
Same goes for my observations in Moscow, and rumours that reach me the situation is no different in other regions of the country.
The above consideration needs of course be balanced against the fact that the local market is shrinking, export laws are unpredictable, and the possibility of all-out disaster is there. Still, I wanted to call your attention to the fact that all-in-all Russia is the cheapest it has been in the last 6-7 years, and invite you to consider the opportunity the situation affords.
Should you decide to try to take advantage of the situation and need local advice or support, talk to me! Please note that dollar rates for my services have been cut in half at least till the end of November.