The Constitutional Court rejected a proposal to annul two of last
year's pricing decisions made by the Czech Energy Regulatory
Authority, citing a lack of valid arguments. The proposal was signed by 26
MPs from the Freedom and Direct Democracy party, the Communist Party and
one Social Democrat. They argued that the agency breached the Energy Act,
according to which it has to protect the legitimate interests of customers
and consumers, by increasing prices for no reason.
According to the ruling there was an absence of almost any argumentation that could lead the Court to rule that prices should be changed.
Czechs living in rented homes spend more than homeowners, according to a study by the Partners consulting agency, presented on Wednesday. On average, Czechs renting a home pay 1800 crowns a month more than those who own their home. At the same time, flats are rented mostly by people with lower income.
Czechs are racing to file applications for building permits, with official figures showing that the number of applications in the first half of 2019 was the highest in 10 years. The main reason appears to be an EU directive that will make building more expensive from 2020, when stricter environmental rules come in. However, representatives of both business and government say that modern technologies will help save money in the long term.
High energy expenditures are forcing nearly a quarter of Czechs to cut back on other types of spending, a recent survey conducted by the polling agency STEM revealed. However, other data shows that 68 percent of the population likes to rank up their heating to temperatures by up to 25 degrees, resulting in unnecessary costs.
The average price of new homes sold in Prague reached 101,091 crowns per
square metre by the end of 2018, an increase of 18.6 percent year on year,
a group of developers said on Wednesday.
The number of residential dwellings sold dropped by 9 percent to 5,000 last year, the lowest since 2012, according to data compiled by the developers Trigema, Skanska Reality and Central Group.
The most expensive flats are traditionally in Prague 1 (currently at 198,000 crowns per sqm on average) and in Prague 2 (164,000 crowns per sqm). The most affordable apartments are in Prague 4 and Prague 10, where the average price is 89,000 crowns per sqm.
In terms of price per square metre, smaller flats are more expensive than larger ones, regardless of location, the developers said.
The Prague City Council plans to raise rents on flats now leased out by the
municipality or city administration at below market rates, councillor Adam
Zábranský (Pirates) told the ČTK news agency in an interview.
Zábranský said the council plans to review the contracts of up to 10,000 flats, many of which are rented out at one-third the going rate “for no apparent reason”.
According to the developer Trigema, as cited by ČTK, tenants of city dwellings usually pay 60 to 120 crowns per square metre, so between 4,680 to 9360 crowns for a standard 78 sq m flat. The market rate would be above 20,000 crowns.