Moscow house sales plunge 38% as prices stay high

Moscow house sales fell by 38% year-on-year between June and August as the country’s recession continues to work its way through the economy, according to a new report from the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr). Some 24,490 apartments were sold in Moscow over the three-month summer period, and only 7,360 apartments were bought in August — a 41% decline from the same month last year.
The slump in sales has affected the markets for both new homes and the existing stock, with average wages falling  by 9% less in the first 8 months of 2015. 
The government has attempted to boost home sales by subsidizing mortgages for newly built flats at interest rates of 11-13 %, but with incomes falling and confidence down, potential purchasers have been putting of the decision to buy. Mortgage lending consequently fell by 40% in the first half of 2015,
The fact that prices have remained stubbornly high has exacerbated the situation; last month,  the average cost per square meter  in the capital rose by over 10% and fell by 1.3% for existing and new homes respectively compared to August 2014.