Bloomberg: Ukraine captive to Soviet era after lending collapse

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June 20, 2012, 12:30 a.m. | Business — by Bloomberg

For most of Kiev’s 3 million residents, including the nascent middle class, owning a home isn’t an option. Eight years after the Orange Revolution that swept pro-Russian premier Viktor Yanukovych out of office and kickstarted a real-estate boom, the cost of a house as a proportion of the average income is among the highest in Eastern Europe even as prices lag behind.
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Olesya Myhal, a 28-year-old public- relations executive who lives in a cramped Kiev apartment with her husband, is also being squeezed in other ways. Ukraine’s weakening currency inflated the principle of the couple’s 20-year dollar mortgage, while high prices and loan rates are preventing them from moving up the property ladder. Higher mortgage payments mean they can’t afford to modernize their 58 square-meter (624 square-foot) Soviet-era home.

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