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.
On Monday, the minister of labour and social affairs called for a wide-ranging interdepartmental effort to sort out the issue of rogue landlords preying on families living in socially excluded localities. A list of 15 specific measures will act as a common thread in the preparation of a series of government proposals aimed at limiting the poverty trade business.
The average mortgage rate rose marginally to 2.5 per cent in July,
according to data compiled by the Fincentrum Hypoindex, whose figures are
based on the real values of freshly agreed contracts, including
refinancing. Last month the average rate stood at 2.49 per cent.
About 2,000 fewer mortgage contracts were signed in July while the volume of mortgages fell month-on-month by almost 4 billion crowns to 15.5 billion crowns, according to Fincentrum.
Analysts quoted by the state news agency said the dip was partly a seasonal phenomenon, but mainly potential buyers are hoping that real estate prices have peaked and waiting for the market bubble to burst. But a further cooling can be expected, with stricter central bank guidelines rules on mortgages due to come into effect from October 1.
At its last policy-setting meeting in early August, the Czech National Bank raised the key interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent. It was the third hike in interest rates since the end of the bank’s forex interventions against the crown. Bank governor Jiří Rusnok has not ruled out further increases this year.
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.