In recent years, Prague has seen a surge in the number of people offering their rooms and apartments for rent. In fact, every fifth apartment in the downtown area is now rented out via Airbnb or similar services, according to a new study. But experts say fears of city centre depopulation may be exaggerated.
The availability of housing in the Czech Republic is the worst in Europe, with a new flat amounting to 11.3 multiple of an average annual income, suggests a study carried out by the international consultancy Deloitte in 14 European countries. Last year, Czechs needed 10.9 of an average annual income to buy a new 70 m2 flat.
It takes Czechs considerably longer on average to save to purchase an
apartment than people in other European states, suggests a new study
produced by consultants Deloitte.
Comparing 12 states last year, the report found that a new flat in the Czech Republic is equivalent to 11.3 years of average pay. Belgians, meanwhile, need the equivalent of 3.7 years’ salary to cover the price of a property of 70 metres squared.
A lack of new apartments on the market is one factor forcing property prices up in the Czech Republic, said a representative of Deloitte. Mortgage regulations, lengthy permit procedures, high taxation and consumer sentiment are other factors.
Czech economic research institute CETA (Centrum ekonomických a tržních analýz) published a study focused on the residential housing market in Prague on Friday, which claims that bureaucratic hurdles, coupled with high demand, are primarily responsible for the current low availability of housing in the capital. It also claims that Airbnb flats, which have been the centre of focus for many councillors, are not to blame.
The saga surrounding the legal case of the bankrupt H-system housing project, which cost over a thousand clients millions of crowns, continues to resonate throughout the country. Many are pointing at the shortcomings of the judicial system and asking the question whether the state should intervene. On Tuesday, the head of the Supreme Court suggested the state should step into the case and compensate the damaged clients.
Estate agents have noted increased interest in renting cottages and ski
chalets, and not just in the high season but year-round, according to a
survey by state news agency ČTK.
Bezrealitky.cz executive director Hendrik Meyer said the motivation to rent rather than own is not just a question of money; Czechs increasingly do not want to be tied to a single weekend retreat or holiday spot. The most desirable locations are in the mountains and near waterways, within a reasonable drive from Prague, Brno and other large cities, he said.
Fincentrum Reality's Martin Fojtík said interest in renting cottages has doubled over the past four years, and prices have risen 15 per cent year-on-year. M & M Reality's Jan Martin said demand has risen in tandem with rising concerns over security in some popular foreign destinations, such as Egypt and Tunisia.
A housing cooperative whose members have been ordered to vacate their homes
near Prague are planning to make a complaint to the Constitutional Court
next week. On Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled that the administrator had
the right to dispose of the properties of around 60 families who were
one-time clients of the collapsed building firm H-System.
On Monday cooperative representatives will take part in a meeting with the administrator where Prime Minister Andrej Babiš intends to act as a mediator.
The families say they will not leave their apartments, which they themselves completed after H-System went bust.