At the end of the second quarter of 2018, apartments under construction numbered 76,000 in Slovakia. This is the highest number since 1996 when the Slovak Statistics Office began to register this data. Because the figure for residential real estate under construction in the early 1990s was low, figures from the second quarter of this year are the highest since the launch of independent Slovakia in 1993, the Trend weekly reported.
In spite of this, demand for new real estate, thanks to record breaking low interest rates on mortgages, is so high that prices for old apartments are rising too. They have increased by 7.2 percent y/y while prices for new real estate grew “only” 6.7 percent y/y.
Prices are driven up not only by demand but also costs when the construction boom itself increases prices not only of construction materials but especially wage costs. Prices for construction work have increased by only 3 percent y/y, but the average wage in the construction sector has already increased by almost 8 percent.
Under the continuing low interest rates, decreasing unemployment and economic growth, construction of residential real estate as well as prices for real estate may further increase. This is also because Slovakia still has, compared to the average of the European Union, a low ratio of apartments to the number of citizens as well as a high share of the population living in overcrowded dwellings – 38 percent in 2016.
Germany is the sixth European country in which the Slovak developer HB Reavis is active. In mid-February it announced two major acquisitions in Berlin and Dresden totalling 3.5 hectares. The announcement followed only a few days after media reported on the sale of some HB Reavis projects in the Czech Republic.
The oldest shopping mall in Bratislava, Polus City Center in Bratislava’s Nové Mesto borough, is undergoing major reconstruction. With an investment of €4 million euros, the interior and exterior of the shopping mall will undergo radical change.
Mlynica, a former industrial building in Bratislava rebuilt into a multi-purpose building, is one of 40 projects shortlisted for the prestigious European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The biennial competition is considered to be the most prestigious architectural award in Europe.
The first of three residential towers of Sky Park, a project designed by the prominent Zaha Hadid Architect studio in Bratislava, reached its final height at the 31st above-ground floor at the end of last year. The other two towers will reach their final height during the first half of this year. Construction of the first of two office buildings and restoration of the historical heating plant known as Jurovičova Tepláreň are going on as well.
At the end of 2018, the offer of housing units in newly finished apartment buildings in Bratislava hit a low since 2002-2005, when this market started developing in Slovakia. This resulted in an increase of average prices of apartments.
The iconic building of the British retail chain Tesco department store in the centre of Bratislava has changed hands. The new owner of the building is the Mirage Shopping Center company of Žilina-based businessman George Trabelssie. Since 2016 the retail chain Tesco has sold five department stores across Slovakia. Trabelssie, who is close to former chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS) Ján Slota, acquired Tesco department stores also in Nitra and Žilina, the Hospodárske Noviny business daily reported. Tesco will continue to operate in the building on Kamenné Square as it will rent the premises.
The reconstruction of the Park Inn by Radisson Danube hotel in Bratislava has become the ugliest new building constructed between the years 2011 and 2018. As much as almost one third of 1002 participants in a survey organised by the website Trend Reality of the economic weekly Trend voted for it. The weekly launched the survey in early December. Its goal was to start a discussion and hold up a kind of mirror to developers.