Many young Czechs leaving “Mama hotels” for independent life in Airbnb apartments vacated by crisis

The impacts of the coronavirus crisis on real estate is making rentals more affordable and is encouraging young people to move away from their parents much sooner than they could normally afford to.

The coronavirus crisis has left thousands of apartments for short-term rent through platforms such as Airbnb unused. In order to generate at least some money, many owners are renting them out at reasonable prices and they are finding new tenants particularly among the young.

Many of the newly vacated apartments are located in extremely attractive locations which would normally not be affordable to the young. For instance one-room apartments in Prague’s Kampa or near Wenceslas Square, where normally the monthly rent would be around 18,000 crowns, are suddenly available for 10, 000 a month, and young people are snapping them up, Radim Bajgar, a partner in the Mint Investments Group, which manages properties worth over 15.5 billion crowns, including rental apartments, told the news site ihned.

Other real estate companies contacted by the site confirmed a growing interest in flats on the part of young people aged between 20 and 30 who are looking to leave home. According to them, the decision is often speeded up by friction during the lockdown when people were forced to spend weeks cooped up at home with other family members.

The trend is also confirmed by the association of financial institutions offering savings and home loans. According to their survey, the pandemic is helping to make more young people independent. While six years ago one in three Czechs aged 26 to 30 lived with his or her parents, today it is one in five. Most young people moving away from their parents rent out an apartment by themselves or with others. In the Czech Republic, women leave home on average two years earlier than men. Last year, young women left home at an average age of 24.7, while for men it was 26.9.

The trend is most visible in the capital. In Prague, the effects of the pandemic on the rental market are clearly visible and rents have fallen significantly, especially in the city centre. However the situation is radically different in Brno and Ostrava where rents continue to rise.