IT mortgage put on pause

IT mortgage put on pause
Photo: Реальное время

Preferential loans for the purchase of housing for IT specialists turned out to be not as affordable and popular as the authorities position them. In 2022, in the wake of the mass departure of IT specialists from Russia, the government launched a programme to retain them — specialists were promised preferential loans for the purchase of housing at 5% per annum. For the entire duration of the programme in the country, 56 thousand IT specialists have received such loans, according to the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia, and less than 2.5 thousand specialists in Tatarstan. At the beginning of the year, banks began massively suspending the issuance of IT mortgages. The analytical service of Realnoe Vremya found out what is happening to the IT mortgage and when it will become available again.

Limits are exhausted

VTB has suspended the issuance of IT mortgages since April 3 due to the exhaustion of limits under this programme, the bank's press service reported. Now the bank is waiting for the government's decision on the further development of IT mortgage and, with an increase in its financing, is going to participate in the new allocation of funds. Earlier, Promsvyazbank, Sber, Alfa-Bank, UBRiR, Absolut-bank suspended the issuance of mortgages for IT specialists.

The press service of Sber confirmed that the IT mortgage is not available for now, the bank is waiting for the government's decision. Rosbank told Realnoe Vremya that IT mortgages are still being issued.

The Ministry of Digital Development of Russia reported that in the near future additional funds will be brought to banks and mortgage issuance will resume. The draft resolution on increasing the total limit on IT mortgages to 700 billion rubles was approved by the Russian government on 5 April. This was stated at a government meeting by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

Already in April, the operator of this support measure, DOM.RF, will distribute additional limits between banks and bring financing to them, the ministry promised.

Out of 857k IT specialists, 56k decided to take out a mortgage

The preferential mortgage programme for specialists working in the field of information technology was launched on the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2022. Over the entire period of the programme's implementation, banks have received more than 183 thousand applications from IT specialists. The IT mortgage programme has been regularly amended in order to expand the list of those who can participate in it. The allocation of additional funds from the budget will allow to support at least 15 thousand more IT specialists. According to the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia, 857 thousand IT specialists are currently working in Russia, their number has increased by 13% over the year.

As the press service of the department clarified to Realnoe Vremya, over the entire period of the programme's implementation, more than 56 thousand IT mortgages worth about 500 billion rubles have been issued. In Tatarstan, 2,481 mortgages have been issued during the entire implementation of the programme. The republic entered the top 5 regions for issuing such mortgages, second only to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow Oblast and Sverdlovsk Oblast.

One of the IT specialists, who wished to remain anonymous, shared with Realnoe Vremya his experience of obtaining a mortgage at the end of last year. “Everything was so fast that I changed my mind about the property and decided to get one more expensive," the IT specialist said. “The bank also sent approval for an increase in the limit very quickly. It took about a week for all the procedures.” Now he needs to inform the bank every six months that he works in the IT field. It is not allowed to change the field of work to another within five years, otherwise the loan rate will become a market rate. “If I decide to change jobs, then to keep the rate, the new employer must be registered with the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia as an IT company. The bank checks the register itself, you do not need to carry supporting documents," he said.

IT specialists can't be “tied”?

Maxim Osadchy, the head of the analytical department of BKF Bank, notes that after receiving a loan, IT specialists become tied to the employer. “In 2022, at the dawn of the programme, they lost all benefits immediately three months after they were fired," Osadchy recalls. “Now the period when an IT specialist has to get a job in a new company accredited by the Ministry of Digital Development has increased to six months. But the risk of losing benefits remains.” In any case, job loss hits harder in the case of an IT mortgage than in the case of a regular preferential one.

“In six months, not everywhere and not everyone can find a new job, and even in an accredited company," the expert notes. “If they had thought of at least switching to a regular preferential mortgage at 8% in case of job loss, and not immediately to a market mortgage, then there would be more people willing to take out such a mortgage. But they wanted the best, but it turned out as always.”

“Besides, IT specialists are mobile people and are not inclined to bind themselves with their own housing," Osadchy says. “Especially now, with the arrival of drones, housing is becoming a less secure investment.”

Yulia Garaeva