Press: Czech real estate market thriving despite Covid situation

Illustrative photo: Kristýna Maková

While other areas of the economy are struggling, the Czech real estate market is continuing to grow, Hospodářské noviny reported on Thursday. Property prices are likewise on the up, the business daily said.

The owner of Maxima Reality, Vladimír Zuzák, told HN that the situation was currently better than during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

At that time the market ground to a halt due to uncertainties over the future, Mr. Zuzák said.

Now, however, people have got used to the situation and while some property deals are being deferred this is far less common than in spring, he said.

In many cases these deferred transactions occur when one party gets sick or must enter quarantine. However, only around one in 10 decide not to go through with a deal.

The price of older apartments in Prague has gone up by 18 percent in the last year, said HN, citing developers Trigema. In Ostrava the rise has been 23 percent.

Tomáš Hejda, spokesperson for real estate brokers Re/Max, said there was major interest in property acquisition at present, with investors now joining individuals seeking to purchase a home.

Low interest rates and the uncertain situation are leading many to look to property as an alternative form of investment, Mr. Hejda told HN.

Other factors driving up demand have been the relaxation of the strict Czech National Bank rules regarding the provision of mortgages and the abolition of the country’s real estate acquisition tax, the daily said.

In the first three quarters of 2020 the price of country cottages has shot up by 28.5 percent year-on-year, according to the company Reas. Sales have gone up by over 12 percent.

Such properties, which were a significant element of Czechoslovak culture in the last decades of communism, have increased in property in recent years – and this has been further accelerated by the Covid-19 epidemic, says HN.

The coronavirus situation has also led real estate agencies to domore of their business online. This includes the electronic signature of contracts and virtual, 3D showings of properties.

However, Vladimír Zuzák of Maxima Reality told HN he was not keen on virtual tours. He says that emotion plays a major role in the sales process – and this is absent in the online sphere. What’s more, such showings can put some potential buyers off, Mr. Zuzák says.