Slovakia, officially named the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe with a population of over five million and an area
of about 49,000 square
kilometres. The largest
city is Bratislava,
Slovakia is divided into 8 regions, each of which is named after its regional capital. The regions are subdivided into many districts. In the past, Slovakia had 79 districts, which are no longer part of the official administrative system, but the country has maintained them for different purposes.
In terms of economy and unemployment rate, the western regions are more prosperous than the east. Slovakia is best known for its pistine nature in the countryside: mountains make up two-thirds of its land, 40 percent of which is covered by forests.
The region of Bratislava is the country's smallest in terms of area, but its most densely settled and urbanised, with 296 inhabitants per square kilometre, about three times the Slovak average. Bratislava, the capital, had a population of 426,091, or 70 percent of the total inhabitants of the region. The Bratislava region is bordered by the Danube to the south and the Morava to the west. It consists of the Záhorie lowlands in the far west of the country and the Podunajská nížina (Danube lowlands) towards the Hungarian south, divided by the heavily forested Malé Karpaty (Small Carpathian mountains) range.
The south-west Trnava region is a strangely shaped body of land that encloses Bratislava region and borders on the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. It is the second smallest region after Bratislava, and the smallest in terms of area.
The south-central Nitra region is Slovakia's agricultural heartland. Flatter and warmer than the rest of the country, its soil and terrain are best suited to farming.
The north-west Žilina region is a rugged area that borders on the Czech Republic and Poland. It includes no fewer than seven mountain ranges: the Tatry and Nízke tatry (Tatras and the Low Tatras), the Veľká and Malá Fatra (Greater and Lesser Fatras), the Chočské vrchy (Choč Mountains), the Javorníky and the Strážovské vrchy (Strážov Mountains). The region is also dominated by national parks
Banská Bystrica region, the country's largest in terms of area, lies in the southern part of Central Slovakia. With its extensive forests and hilly terrain, it is the least densely settled region.
The north-east Prešov region is Slovakia's most physically spectacular, but poor and sparsely settled as well. It borders on Poland and Ukraine, and contains five national parks. Less than half of the inhabitants of the region live in urban settings.
Košice region is a largely flat and poor area in the southeast of Slovakia bordering on Ukraine and Hungary. With a population of 773,000, it is the second largest region while with about one third of the total inhabitants of the region, the capital Košice is Slovakia's second largest city and is the industrial anchor of the east of the country.
The north-west Trenčín region is a relatively wealthy and developed part of Slovakia, bordering on the Czech Republic. It is hilly but not rugged, and has an unusually high (55 percent) proportion of inhabitants employed in industry, making it the second most heavily industrialised region after Bratislava.
The prices for apartments in Bratislava have decreased by over €300 per square metre since the start of the economic crisis in 2008. Real estate broker Jana Vinšová confirms statistics that apartments in Bratislava are cheaper now, noting that in the past it was not a problem to sell an apartment for tens of thousands of euros per square metre in the Old Town.
The Slovak developer HB Reavis continues to sell off its domestic projects. After selling Aupark shopping centres and the buildings of the Apollo Business Centre II, it also sold the building of its headquarters. The developer sold three blocks of office buildings of the City Business Centre (CBC) III-V to the real estate fund of Tatra Banka, the Hospodárske noviny daily wrote.
In 2013, the construction of 14,758 new housing units began, which represents an annual increase of 12.7 percent. The amount of completed housing units decreased by 1 percent to 15,100. At the end of 2013, 61,382 housing units were under construction, which is a 2.2-percent drop when compared with the previous year, the Slovak Statistics Office announced on March 5.
London’s West End continues to be the world’s most expensive office market, based on the research Office Space Across the World 2013 published by Cushman & Wakefield in mid February. Bratislava placed 52nd, clearly representing an extremely attractive location from an occupiers’ perspective, even within a central European context, at a 35-percent discount to Warsaw, a 25-percent discount to close neighbours Vienna and Budapest, and a 20-percent discount to Prague.
About 700 people visited Stein, a derelict former brewery in the centre of Bratislava, on February 8 to assess the condition of the buildings and the premises. Developers YIT Reding and MiddleCap Office Park, which opened the premises to the general public, want to pull down all of the structures except the iconic building that was used to ferment beer, and replace them offices and apartments.
The Bratislava office market lacks new clients, said Tomáš Liška from the TriGranit Development Slovakia development company, at the Construction Forum in Bratislava on April 3.