Coronavirus fuels Czechs' interest in recreational homes

Photo: Archive of Radio Prague Int.

Interest in purchasing summer homes and cottages is significantly higher this year while the number of such recreational homes on sale has dropped, the website Aktuálně reports.

According to experts, the rising demand relates to the coronavirus outbreak and uncertainty surrounding the possibility to travel abroad. The growing demand and smaller number of properties on sale is causing prices to grow.

According to the real-estate website Sreality, the number of people searching for recreational homes is three times higher than in the same period last year. The most sought-after cottages and chalets are in Central Bohemia and in the Liberec region.

"Our website has recorded a significant increase of demand in recreational homes. Compared to last May, the number of people looking at the offer of summer houses and cottages increased by 47 percent," Šarlota Smutná of told the website Aktualne.

According to Sreality’s Hana Kořínková, the growing interest in summer homes is fuelled mainly by the coronavirus crisis.

"Most people will spend holiday in the Czech Republic, and those with extra income have started looking to buy a place of their own."

While such interest continues to grow, the number of such property on sale is significantly lower than last year.

"In May 2019, there were over 3,500 cottages and chalets for sale on Sreality website. This year, the offer dropped by around 25 percent," says Smutná.

As a result, the prices of recreational houses around the Czech Republic are skyrocketing, especially those in good condition, which do not require major intervention.

"In the Vysočina and Pilsen regions, the median price of summer homes increased by up to 30 percent. In Prague, it grew by up to 41 percent, which is due to the lowest number of such type of property on sale."

Many Czechs are willing to take mortgage to purchase a summer house. According to Veronika Hegrová of the financial start-up Hyponamiru, local banks offer mortgages of up to 70 percent of the property’s value.

"With cottages in an excellent technical state in the most sought-after locations, you can reach 80 percent," she told the website Aktualne.

Among those in the market for cottages and chalets are mainly families with children, and older people, who move to the countryside in response to a downturn in their finances.

In recent years, there has also been a growing demand for summer homes from people who cannot afford the high cost of housing in big cities.