Building owners and housing co-operatives are demanding government help in enforcing and expanding their rights to collect payments from errant tenants or allow for their eviction, or force the sale of flats to cover debts. Many housing co-operatives across the country face bankruptcy, the groups say, due to tenants’ and co-owners’ failure to pay utility and other bills.
Every third Czech lives in a „panelák“. These blocks of flats made of prefabricated parts are a typical feature of all the former Soviet satellite countries. They were built to last only for two or three generations. Now, their inhabitants are doing their best to prolong their life-span. However, they still pose a serious housing problem for the future.
The Prague City Council plans to raise rents on flats now leased out by the
municipality or city administration at below market rates, councillor Adam
Zábranský (Pirates) told the ČTK news agency in an interview.
Zábranský said the council plans to review the contracts of up to 10,000 flats, many of which are rented out at one-third the going rate “for no apparent reason”.
According to the developer Trigema, as cited by ČTK, tenants of city dwellings usually pay 60 to 120 crowns per square metre, so between 4,680 to 9360 crowns for a standard 78 sq m flat. The market rate would be above 20,000 crowns.
The rise in apartment prices in the Czech Republic, which has been extremely rapid in recent years, has come to a halt or at least decelerated, due to Czechs reaching the limits of their purchasing power as well as new mortgage regulations, iDnes.cz reported. However, things are rather different in Prague, the news site said.
Czechs borrow most in the weeks leading up to Christmas, including by
taking advantage of credit offered by retailers, according to a new survey
commissioned by the Czech Consumers’ Association.
During the course of the year, on average about 27 percent have borrowed beyond their means. Twice as many do so between mid-November and early December, the survey found.
Czechs are borrowing more than ever to buy Christmas presents for their relatives and friends, suggests a survey carried out among the country’s non-banking consumer lenders. In the months preceding the festive season, loan firms are traditionally recording an increase in the number of loan applications.
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 average mortgage interest rate rose in September to 2.57 percent from
2.53 percent in August, according to Fincentrum Hypoindex.
Despite higher rates, the number of applicants surged as people sought to get mortgages before tougher lending guidelines came into effect on October 1.
Under the new guidelines set by the Czech National Bank, a borrower should not be eligible for a loan greater than nine times their annual net income or have to spend over 45 percent of their monthly net income to service the debt.
The average mortgage interest rates in the Czech Republic are the sixth
highest in EU, suggests a study carried out by the website ChytrýHonza.cz,
based on data from Eurostat, the European Central Bank and Crédit Foncier.
According to the data, interest rates on mortgages in Europe range from 1.09% in Denmark to 4.4% in Poland. In the Czech Republic, the average rate is 2.2%. However, the level of indebtedness of the Czechs is not as great as, for example, that of the French.