Czechia is the second-least affordable country in Europe to purchase property

According to consulting firm Deloitte, you need 14 gross annual Czech salaries to buy real estate in the Czech capital.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 21.08.2023 16:22:00 (updated on 21.08.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

On salary-adjusted terms, Czechia is the second-most expensive country in Europe overall for purchasing a property, according to the latest Deloitte Property Index. The report reveals that prospective homeowners in the Czech Republic need an average of 13 gross annual salaries to afford a property of 70 square meters, a figure largely consistent with the previous year's index.

Prague is one of the most expensive

Among European cities, Prague stands as the third-most expensive metropolis in all of Europe for housing purchases, with an average of 14.3 gross annual salaries required to buy property in the capital. It trails only Amsterdam and Bratislava, which is in top spot.

fast facts

  • Last year, Czechia was the most unaffordable country in Europe to buy property. It is now overtaken by Slovakia.
  • The country's average housing price is EUR 3,753 per square meter.
  • The average cost of a new apartment in Prague is CZK 8.7 million, compared to CZK 9.4 million last year (August 2022).
  • Rent in Prague is increasing on year-on-year basis (by about 8 percent), but decreasing on a quarterly basis (between 2 and 5 percent).
  • Average rent in Prague is CZK 346 per square meter (monthly), whereas outside the capital it is around CZK 222.

Miroslav Linhart, a leading partner in Deloitte's financial consulting department, highlights that Slovakia claims the overall top spot for housing affordability as it requires an average of 14.1 gross annual wages for a home purchase. 

The surge in housing prices has been witnessed across all 23 countries surveyed, including the Czech Republic. The country's average housing price (per square meter) escalated from EUR 3,342 (about CZK 80,000) in 2021 to the current figure of EUR 3,753, reflecting a 12-percent increase. 

This growth is attributed to a combination of factors, including an increase in demand, high inflation, and the tightening of the Czech National Bank's monetary policy. The resultant slowdown in the mortgage market led to a significant drop in mortgage loans and their overall volume.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Office for rent, 130m<sup>2</sup>

Office for rent, 130m2

V sadech, Praha 6 - Bubeneč

Villa for rent, 490m<sup>2</sup>, 800m<sup>2</sup> of land

Villa for rent, 490m2, 800m2 of land

U Malvazinky, Praha 5 - Smíchov

Apartment for rent, 4+kk - 3 bedrooms, 80m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 4+kk - 3 bedrooms, 80m2

Roháčova, Praha 3 - Žižkov

Apartment for rent, 1+1 - Studio, 39m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 1+1 - Studio, 39m2

Boleslavova, Praha 4 - Nusle

"We are now expecting an increase in real estate prices, both in Prague and in other regional cities and their surroundings. We can thus count on rising prices for apartments in the most lucrative locations, followed by a further rise in land prices...I expect prices to rise by up to 10 percent per year"

Hendrik Meyer, director of the European Housing Services firm (of which the Bezrealitky real estate firm is a part)

Renting: A mixed picture

While property ownership remains a financial challenge, the rental housing market in the Czech Republic presents a more favorable scenario. Prague, for example, has an average monthly rent of EUR 14.4 (equivalent to CZK 345) per square meter, positioning it at the 23rd spot out of 66 cities surveyed for rental affordability.

Deloitte's Petar Hána notes that the upswing in rental demand has been driven by the inaccessibility of owning houses due to high mortgage rates. This rental housing boom is further enhanced by a surge in investor and developer interest in rental projects across regional cities.

Prague remains expensive for rent, however, compared to last year. Currently, the average rent in Prague is around CZK 348 per square meter of living space. This is 8 percent more than a year ago and 2 percent less than last quarter. The average rent for an apartment in Prague is CZK 19,300. 

In the rest of the Czech Republic (outside Prague, Brno, and surrounding areas), average rent is CZK 222 per square meter of living space. This is 4 percent more than a year ago and 2 percent more than last quarter. The average rent for an apartment outside Prague is CZK 11,400. 

It's not all bad news

The last 12 months have seen a decline in apartment prices, despite admittedly still-high prices. In the fourth quarter of last year, the average price for an apartment in Prague returned to levels similar to those at the end of 2021.

Compared to spring 2022, the average 65-square-meter apartment in the center of Prague lost almost CZK 680,000 in value, according to a study by the real estate group European Housing Services.

According to the HB Index from the ČSOB financial group, apartment prices nationwide in the second quarter of this year dropped 3.2 percent year on year.

"According to our analysis, the average price of apartments in the Czech Republic decreased by 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2023. The average price of single-family homes fell by 1.9 percent," says Jakub Veverka, chief economist at Videobydleni.cz.

The latest Deloitte Develop Index from July 2023, which tracks the prices of new apartments on a two-month basis, has found that overall prices in the capital have been on a downward trend in recent months, but by less than 5 percent in total. Prague 1 and 2 saw the biggest decreases in May-June, falling 4.5 percent and 5.4 percent respectively since March-April.

Data from real estate website Realitymix.cz also shows that, from August 2022, year-on-year purchase prices for apartments have declined by 7.5 percent.

Deloitte's report highlights Belgium and Norway as the most affordable European countries for owning homes, with residents requiring less than five gross annual salaries for a purchase.

For brand new apartments. Bosnia and Herzegovina offers the cheapest options, priced at an average of just EUR 1,237 per square meter. 

Data from the Deloitte index will likely confirm many people's beliefs about high apartment-purchase costs in Prague. With mortgage rates and inflation still high on a relative basis, it may be a matter of months – if not years – before apartment prices become markedly cheaper for people in Czechia.

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