While the share of the market held by rental apartments in the countries of the European Union is between 19 and 62 percent, in Slovakia it is only about 6 percent. This negatively affects labour force mobility and housing for young families and handicapped citizens, the Benchmarking Information Exchange Project has discovered. The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) in Slovakia participated in the project and focused on the comparison of support for rental housing between Slovakia and the Czech Republic and Austria where the share of rental apartments on the market is 21 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
The Slovak Construction Ministry considers that to a large extent, the current state of housing is a consequence of the changes following the fall of the communist regime in 1989. This meant not only an end to support for the construction of state housing and the consequent significant decrease in new housing, but also a massive sale of apartments into private ownership.
In Slovakia and the Czech Republic, responsibility for the housing needs of citizens lies with the municipalities.
“The number of completed municipal rental apartments decreased from 2,305 units in 2009 (12.24 percent) to 359 in 2016 (2.29 percent),” reads the NKÚ’s report, indicating that the construction of municipal rental apartments in Slovakia as well as in the Czech Republic followed a downward trend between 2009 and 2016.
The office points out that the support scheme in Slovakia does not take into consideration differences in general rental costs and the monthly fee is set at €55.80 for a single and €89.20 for a family. In the Czech Republic the contribution is based on real or normative housing costs and the number of persons in a family. However, in both Slovakia and the Czech Republic state support, due to the increasing price of real estate and the tightening of conditions surrounding mortgages, is ceasing to be affordable for wider groups of citizens.
The NKÚ cites Austria’s rental housing scheme as an example of good practice. It is not only focused on households with low incomes, but its goal is to provide wide groups of citizens with affordable and quality housing.
“In Austria it is the individual federal republics that, in cooperation with the municipalities, insurance companies and banks are responsible for rental housing,” reads the report. “Contrary to Slovakia and the Czech Republic, in Austria they focus primarily on support for affordable housing as rental houses.”
Photo: Town of Svidník is rebuilding former dormitory into municipal rental apartments, TASR
Construction of a brand new bus station and the extensive reconstruction of Mlynské Nivy Street are going according to plan.
The PNK Group, an international developer of industrial and logistics real estate from Russia, has joined the European real estate market by constructing a new industrial park called PNK Park Sereď in western Slovakia. Spanning 45,000 square metres of industrial space, the park offers premises for various uses: storage, distribution centres and light industry assembly halls.
After the British carmaker Jaguar Land Lover (JLR) announced its plan to build a brand new plant in Nitra, local real estate prices skyrocketed. Now the situation seems to be calming down. This is because the central bank has tightened conditions for taking out mortgages as well as developers announcing projects for the construction of new apartments.
The Czech investment fund Arete Invest, focusing on investment in real estate, is building a new warehouse for the international chain of fashion e-shops Factcool in the industrial park at Nové Mesto nad Váhom.
Investors in Slovakia are becoming more interested in launching their projects on brownfield sites or old industrial premises, Martin Varačka, head of the department of industrial real estate at CBRE Slovensko, confirmed for the TASR newswire. Apart from their further use for manufacturing or warehousing, new functions including residential ones may also be found for such sites.
The average price of flats in all eight Slovak regional capitals increased over July. Nevertheless, the increase of a mere €8 per square metre, from €1,613 to €1,621 per square metre, is the lowest month-on-month increase over the last few months. Thus, the expectations of Vladimír Kubrický, analyst for Realitná únia, have been fulfilled after he predicted that, following the tightening of conditions for taking out mortgages introduced by the National Bank of Slovakia as of July 1, 2018, there would be a stabilisation of prices.
Investors invested almost €500 million into commercial real estate in Slovakia during the first half of 2018. This almost equals investments for the whole year of 2017, which amounted to €535 million, the data of the real estate consultancy company JLL indicates.