Housing leasing would increase demand for housing, but would not solve problems in construction
Decree No 109 of April 6th, 2017, amended housing leasing rules for citizens. Inter alia, novelties include revised utility rates for leased apartment, and a ban on increasing the cost of rent if leased apartment’s market value goes up. The amendments are likely to boost the demand for leasing apartments. As the discount rate reduces, leasing schemes would become more affordable for citizens and amid excess liquidity, more banks are likely to offer leasing schemes. In addition, developers could create own leasing companies to sell the constructed housing. In 2016, more than 50 apartments were sold using leasing schemes hence even a multiple increase in sales is unlikely to have a significant impact on the real estate market. Housing sales will step up only if prices on the real estate market continue to fall or household incomes increase.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.