The rent of an average apartment in the capital city could cost you more than the average monthly salary. Problems with high rental prices are experienced not only by students but also young families with children, who are additionally hindered by landlord’s unwillingness to rent property to young families.
In addition, landlords take advantage of the high demand associated with the beginning of the university semesters. Young people coming to study in the capital desperately need a place to live, and are then subject to extremely high rental prices, often exceeding 12,000 CZK for a room.
Students often prefer to share an apartment as it saves money. Likewise, a student of barely twenty-years of age hardly earns enough to pay rent in the city. Demand exceeds supply here, and people are often so desperate that they don’t even take into consideration the price.
And if you want to live for less, you’re out of luck. On a social networking site, one twenty-year-old girl who was looking for a home with her partner stated that she did not want the monthly rent to exceed 11,000 CZK. Scroll down, and in response, many had commented on how “ridiculous” this request was, and that there was “no chance” of getting anything for that price.
Prices for a small apartment a short walk from the city center can reach up to 25,000 CZK, exceeding the average net salary in the Czech Republic, which amounts to 22,915 CZK.
It is not uncommon that the average family pay their full salary for housing. People are taking to these social media sites in anger, claiming it’s simply not possible to rent where prices have risen so high. “If one says the average apartment for a family is worth 20,000 CZK, then more than half of their budget is going towards rent” one person commented.
Young parents are having a similar crisis. The problem is not just the housing prices, but also the fact that property owners are reluctant to provide leases to young families.
“I have been searching for something with my boyfriend for a long time, but unfortunately we’ve had no luck. We are both hard-working and we both have full-time jobs. We have a daughter who is two years old” writes one social network user, who’s still desperately searching for an apartment to rent that does not exceed 16,000 CZK.
Another woman is looking for housing with her one-year-old son. She complains that nobody has responded to her emails and messages in weeks and that landlords eventually give priority to other candidates. This isn’t only a problem in the capital. The same issues have been reported by people in many other large cities in the Czech Republic.
What about the future?
According to experts, real estate prices in the Czech Republic have been growing by more than forty percent in the last four years. The Czech cities with the highest real estate prices are Prague and Brno, with Hradec Králové coming in third place.
One of the main reasons is the lack of possibilities to build. At present, the Czech Republic ranks fifth for most expensive housing in the EU.
Apartment prices in the capital are comparable to that of Berlin. New apartment blocks in the city are under construction, but there are still several thousand less new builds than what is needed.
According to economist Miroslav Ševčík, this phenomenon has two aspects. The first is political and is related to the over-regulation of the approval for implementation of territorial plans by the territorial self-governing units. The second is the underestimation of demand from migrants arriving in Prague. "Excessive regulation of the CNB's finances is pushing the middle class out of housing, which is a major flaw for politicians in the last decade," he says.
In recent years, it has often been said that flat rentals to tourists through AirBnb has also had an impact on high housing prices. According to Ševčík, this is not true, or only partially true. “Tourists bring a huge amount of money into the city which they then spend at local businesses, bringing more money into the local economy. So considering all aspects, it ultimately has a positive impact on the urban economy.”
Author: Holly Webb