Prices of flats in the Czech Republic increased by 5.6 percent year-on-year in the fist quarter of this year, according to the latest data published by the Czech Statistical Office. The price growth slowed down a bit in the capital, with prices increasing by 4 percent, but accelerated in the rest of the country. The average price of a new flat last year stood at about 20,500 crowns per square metre (1,300 US dollars).
In Business News this week: March’s trade surplus is half that of the same month a year previously; Google ups the ante in the battle for search supremacy with the launch of a map system for Czech users; Czech coal magnate Zdeněk Bakala celebrates an extremely successful IPO; after a sharp increase in property values, the price of old flats in Prague begins to fall; Czech households pay the lowest prices for electricity in the central Europe region, says a new study: and sales of high definition televisions are set to pass out sales of classic sets
Want to buy a luxury flat in Prague? It could cost you as much as 400 million crowns. Now you can place a bet on whether the US radar base is coming to the country. An artist defaces traffic lights and gets in trouble with the law and police hunt a man who is impersonating a waiter. And find out why Japanese rats love Czech beer.
In Business News: the Finance Ministry and the Czech National Bank agree on measures to fight the fast appreciation of the crown; the central bank’s governor says it is keeping interest rates low in order to avoid further firming of the Czech currency; the foreign trade surplus increased by ten percent; a new body is set up to prepare for euro adoption; and the biggest urban building project since 1989 gets underway in Prague.
In Business News this week: As power giant CEZ announces healthy profits, analysts warn of further increases in the price of electricity; Czech Railways is now in profit after years in the red, though the company is fined for late trains by the Olomouc regional authority; increases in home prices should slow, though prices are not likely to fall; and cable company UPC now has over a million customers.
According to some reports that have appeared on British internet sites recently, the Czech Republic is currently the best place for UK investors to buy property in the whole of the eastern Europe region. The reports have been quoting the investment advisers and agents Property Secrets, specifically their chief analyst Simon Tweddle, who himself lives in Prague. I asked him: why is the Czech Republic such a good place to invest in property?
Our guest for One on One this week is Nicholas Kirke, a British-born property developer who has been operating in the Czech Republic since the early 1990s and whose La Salle property development company now own thousands of square metres of prime real estate in Prague, including the historical Melantrich building on Wenceslas Square.
Recent press reports revealed that home prices have risen considerably here in the Czech Republic in the last year, with increases of over 10 percent in some sections of the market. Why are flat prices going up so much - and how does the future look? I discussed those issues and more with Arnost Hejduk of real estate marketing company Rooney and Bennett.