Czechs increasingly seek escape to country homes

Photo: Magdalena Kašubová

Czechs are increasingly interested in buying a chata or a chalupa, a cabin or a cottage, in the countryside. According to the daily Lidové Noviny, the sale of summer houses has increased on average by 40 percent this year compared to the previous year.

Photo: Magdalena Kašubová
In 2015, the sales of cottages and cabins already increased by 50 percent on the previous year. According to real estate agents, the most sought after objects currently cost between 600,000 and 1.6 million crowns.

According to Zdeněk Václavek, managing director of the M&M real estate agency, which has over 185 offices around the country, they have recorded a 10 percent increase in sales this year.

Another real estate agency RE/MAX, has recorded an increase of 38 percent in the first quarter of 2016 and sold cottages and cabins worth 90 million crowns during that period. Tomáš Hejda of RE/MAX told the daily that the favourable economic situation and record low interest rates are among the main factors fuelling Czechs’ interest in purchasing a house or a cabin.

Despite the rising interest of Czech buyers, the prices of Czech chaty and chalupy remain more or less the same as last year. At the moment, the average price of a cabin or a cottage is around 930,000 crowns. However, properties in popular regions can reach up to several million crowns.

When looking for a summer house, Czechs prefer mountain regions and places near woods or water reservoirs. Central and South Bohemia and the Krkonoše mountains remain among the most popular locations for summer houses.

According to real estate agents, people are starting to prefer buildings that have already undergone reconstruction and have been furnished rather than doing the work themselves or organising it. A growing number of clients also started to purchase cottages as a way of investing their finances.

Marie Mocková, spokesman for Hypoteční banka, told the daily that most Czechs still acquire a summer house for themselves. However, new apartments in the mountains are frequently sublet.

A growing number of clients turn their summer houses into a permanent living. According to Zdeněk Václavek of M&M real estate agency, this concerns especially cottages near big towns. Some 35 percent of people interested in buying a chata or chalupa want this type of housing, he said.

At the moment, there are some 12 percent of Czechs who own a cottage or a cabin in the countryside.