Saturday, July 27, 2019

Fewer Urban Russians Own or Use Dachas, Sociologists Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 25 – A sea change is taking place among urban Russians: Ever fewer of them are purchasing or renting dachas outside their cities, the result, sociologists say, of generational change in preferences, tax policies that make ownership of dachas less attractive, and the equalization of prices between dachas and urban housing.

            In reporting on this, Mikhail Sergeyev of Nezavisimaya gazeta says that five years ago 46 percent of Russian urbanites owned dachas; now only 42 percent do, a significant falloff in such a short period of time.  Over the last 15 years, the number of city residents without dachas has risen from 49 percent to 59 percent (

            “For the older generation,” Sergeyev says, “a little house outside the city often was an inalienable part of its accustomed way of life, but for young people this isn’t quite the case.” As the older generation passes, younger ones are not displaying the passion for dachas their predecessors did.

            Ever more them simply sell them off, and any thought of building something new outside the city has been put off because of current economic problems. Demographic change also has affected these trends. In many places the population is falling and everywhere the number of large families is declining making escape from small apartments of less interest, experts say.

            At the same time, however, the VTsIOM poll from which the figures above came, say that “more than half of Russians (52 percent) who don’t have a dacha would like to have one. They say they can’t afford to buy one or have problems with their age and health that make moving back and forth difficult.

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