Czechs have found a substitute for overpriced cottages. Šumava is replaced by Jadran
The wave of Czech interest in investing in real estate abroad first rose during the coronavirus pandemic. It was again when the war in Ukraine started and buyers from countries near Ukraine were looking for a place to live and invest.
Now, sellers of real estate abroad are reporting a further increase in demand.
High inflation and rising interest rates at home are keeping interest rates high.
"People who have savings that they would normally invest in property in the Czech Republic are therefore looking abroad. Investing in a property abroad in a tourist-attractive location brings an additional benefit for investors, namely the possibility of using the property privately for shorter or longer stays, in addition to ancillary income," says Krajná.
In Spain in particular, although interest rates and conditions have changed similarly to those in the Czech Republic, the interest rate has not risen so sharply and is still roughly half the level, somewhere around 3.5 percent.
The growth in demand is also confirmed by data analyst Seznam.cz, which is based on data from the real estate portal Sreality.cz.
"The boom took place in 2021, when we recorded almost double the number of search queries for properties abroad than in the previous year. The demand measured in this way grew last year as well, by another 20 percent compared to the previous year," Šarlota Smutná told SZ Byznys.
On average, the Sreality.cz portal received almost 100,000 inquiries about foreign properties every month.
"Due to the significant growth in the prices of Czech holiday properties in recent years, it is possible that many domestic investors have stopped considering buying Czech property and have decided to buy abroad," explains the data analyst.
The most popular locations for foreign properties for Czechs are Croatia, Spain, Italy and Greece. Austria, Slovakia and Bulgaria are next in variable order.
According to Hana Čmakalová of Domus Global, a company that deals with the sale of real estate abroad, the prices of properties in these locations, which Czechs most often look to for investment, have rather stabilized over the past six months.
"There is no longer as much upward pressure as a year ago, but the negative macroeconomic situation has not yet manifested itself as much," says Čmakalová.
In the case of Croatia and Spain in particular, however, prices of older properties could develop favourably for buyers in the coming months. "Supply already exceeds demand," adds Čmakalová.
And this, she says, is why there could be more opportunities to buy older properties at bargain prices in the second half of the year. There will be more and more sellers who will need to sell quickly and raise cash given the economic situation in their country.
The selling prices of properties abroad are similar to those in the Czech Republic. It depends on their condition and also their location. This is also why it is difficult to compare countries with each other.
Currently, for example, in Spain, the real estate agency Rellox offers properties with prices starting from about 150 thousand euros, or about 3.5 million crowns. The most premium housing, however, costs two million euros, or just under 50 million crowns.
In the case of real estate in Austria, Domus Global clients buy two-room apartments in the Alps for 600 to 700 thousand euros or more.
It is cheaper in Egypt in Hurghada, where currently real estate broker Pavla Bártová from REMAX Professional Partners is selling apartments in a new development project from 850 thousand crowns for a one-room apartment.
"A three-room apartment costs around two million crowns, larger apartments with a good view are around three million crowns. In other locations in Hurghada, in areas where locals live, second-hand apartments can be bought from around half a million crowns, but you have to take into account the worse condition and environment," explains Pavla Bártová.
The interest of Czechs, however, does not remain only in well-known locations such as Croatia or Italy. Petr Zapletal, for example, has sensed an opportunity and has embarked on a development project in Georgia, where he is building a hotel complex, the Magnetic Beach Resort, on the Black Sea coast.
Part of the apartments are already standing, the other part of the project is still in the pipeline, but the entrepreneur plans to sell the entire project to purely Czech and Slovak investors.
"Today we have sold about thirty percent of the complex. Another twenty apartments are reserved and the rest are still for sale. Although the interest has slowed down a bit due to the fears of the war in Ukraine, now we see that everything is starting to turn around again and people are continuing to buy," says Petr Zapletal in an interview for SZ Byznys.
A similar development was confirmed last year by an analysis of the real estate agency Rellox, which specializes in the sale of real estate in foreign destinations.
According to it, the interest in purchases has not subsided, but it has shifted to locations that can be considered safe with regard to their geographical location or neutrality.
And the interest has not only grown among Czechs, they are also increasingly considering buying real estate outside their home country in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.