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
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.
Prices of apartments grew at a two-digit pace in Slovakia in 2018. The average price of an apartment increased from €1,479 per square metre to €1,655 per square metre during the first 11 months of 2018. This means an increase of €176 per square metre or 11.9 percent, Vladimír Kubrický, analyst with the Real Estate Union, told the TASR newswire.
Bratislava’s Old Town has gotten a new square. It is part of a new office-residential complex called Blumental, built by the development company Corwin. It is flanked by streets Mýtna and Radlinského and interconnects with them. It was named after mediaeval King Matthias Corvinus, Matej Korvín Square.
Bratislava is scheduled to get a new landmark within a few years. The developer J&T Real Estate (JLRE) has obtained a development permit for the project of extending Eurovea on the Danube embankment. Included is the 168-metre high Eurovea Tower, the first building in Bratislava that meets the latest criteria for being called a skyscraper, i.e. higher than 150 metres. The residence tower will have 47 storeys and have almost more than 380 residential units. The project will add 84,000 square metres of retail premises to the existing ones in the first phase of Eurovea, the Hospodárske Noviny wrote.
The Saudi-Arabian company Sisban has started building a brand new logistics park near the village Chocholná-Velčice in the Trenčín Region. Sihoť Park will spread over 160,000 square metres, while investments are projected at €50 million. This is the company’s first investment in Slovakia, the TASR newswire reported.