An innovative Czech start-up aims to revolutionize the property market

By doing away with conventional barriers to buying property, ‘Kousek Bytu’ could be the solution to the problems faced by aspiring homeowners in Czechia

William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass Published on 25.06.2024 17:00:00 (updated on 24.06.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

Anyone aspiring to buy property in Czechia will have experienced frustration with the real estate market. Younger generations, in particular, whose wages have been left in the dust by rapid house price increases, face unattainable requirements for getting a first foot on the property ladder and limited alternative opportunities to invest well.

It appears high time for a revolution in the market. Enter Kousek Bytu, or “Part Home” in English, a Czech start-up which promises to enable property ownership for everyone. By allowing people to buy a part or “share” of an apartment, starting from as little as CZK 20,000, it’s an all-new approach which aims to radically change the market. In doing so, it could bring to an end a sense of hopelessness among those for whom buying a house has, until now, seemed impossible.

Lowering the property threshold

Real estate in Czech cities is among the most expensive in Europe compared to wages. Add to this the need to put down a sizable deposit and make hefty monthly mortgage payments, and it’s increasingly difficult to get a foot in the door of the property market. Even if you’re lucky enough to have the necessary funds, the bureaucracy-heavy nature of house buying makes the industry cumbersome.

According to Petr Klymec, Managing Director of Kousek Bytu, the situation has been made worse by a lack of innovation – something which this start-up aims to fix.

“Almost every other industry has migrated online in some form, but real estate has remained just as it was. Our idea was simple: let’s take it online in an eshop form. That’s the biggest innovation of this new platform,” Petr says.

“You can choose from various apartments and projects to invest in, put them in your basket, press pay, and you’re done. You receive confirmation to your email. It’s simple and intuitive, without any bureaucracy.”

Kousek Bytu allows purchases worth as little as CZK 20,000, which can be split into ten monthly installments of CZK 2,000. There’s no upper cap on investment; while buyers with limited funds can take ownership of part of a home, those with more cash to spare can buy entire apartments or even clusters of apartments through the eshop.

Whereas getting a foothold on the property ladder used to require initial payments of hundreds of thousands of crowns, Kousek Bytu radically lowers the threshold. “Suddenly, buying property is open to anybody who can spare CZK 2,000 from their monthly salary,” Petr points out.

At the moment, they may be leaving this amount in their current account, where it’s being eaten away by inflation. By buying through Kousek Bytu, they can enjoy returns which, combining capital gains and rental income, will come to approximately 10.5 percent per annum.”

Stress-free property investment

Kousek Bytu’s innovation doesn’t stop with enabling property ownership for those without cash to spare. Property servicing provided by the company will enable consistent rental income, with no need to get your hands dirty with the running of the property.

“As an investor, you don’t have to find tenants or handle property management. We have our own service company taking care of that,” Petr explains. “Rental income will account for around 5.5 percent of the total value of your returns, as a percentage of the total property rent is paid out to you every month.”

Buyers are also saved the usual bureaucratic hassle of buying and owning a house, including the need to be present as an owner in the Czech property register. It really is as simple as choosing a property on Kousek Bytu’s e-shop, going through checkout, and then keeping track of your returns.

Strong foundations

Kousek Bytu is seeking to seriously shake up the Czech property sector, so it’s vital that the company has strong backing. Petr has rich experience leading successful start-ups and digital innovators across the world, and Kousek Bytu’s partners provide security for those who use the platform to buy property.

“There are two main investors in Kousek Bytu. One Bond is a successful Fintech incubator led by Jiří Paták, who is highly experienced. The other major partner is Maverick Group, a real estate developer,” Petr explains.

Maverick Group is responsible for developing the first project available to buy through Kousek Bytu: a property complex in Kladno which will contain 10 villa houses and 200 apartments. Petr says Maverick Group is keen to be “ahead of the curve” by utilizing Kousek Bytu’s innovative property investment solution.

The Kladno project is an example of the kind of location which Kousek Bytu will focus on. Prices in cities such as Prague and Brno are “unreal” and unappealing to potential investors, Petr says. Instead, the focus is on secondary cities “where there is strong rental demand and good local infrastructure.” With a new high-speed rail connection set to reduce commute times from Kladno to Prague, this up-and-coming location promises strong gains in the years to come.

Expat opportunity

Because buying property through Kousek Bytu entails no bureaucracy, the platform is open to all, including expats in Czechia. “Our platform is completely open and inclusive,” Petr says. “Even if you leave the country, you can keep your investment and follow its progress from abroad.”

This democratization is particularly vital for younger generations. With around 50 percent of Gen Z and Millennials living from salary to salary, Petr points out, “there are around 2 million people in Czechia of working age who are unable to save money, who don’t have the funds to buy their own home through traditional channels, and who have very little money to invest.”

“This is a perfect solution for them,” he concludes.

Take the next step

This article was written in cooperation with Kousek Bytu - PartHome s.r.o. Read more about our partner content policies here. Disclaimer: Trading financial instruments carries risks. Always ensure that you understand these risks before trading.

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