Last year, 9698 flats were granted a valid building permit in Prague, which is 5,363 more than a year earlier and the most since 1997, from which data are available, according to data from the Czech Statistical Office (CSO). In recent years, the Czech capital has been affected by the growth of apartment prices by tens of percent per year, according to the city management, this is also due to insufficient construction. The mayor’s deputy Petr Hlaváček (for TOP 09) said that with the recovery in construction, a reduction in the price of flats can be expected in the medium term.
Of the total number, last year the building authorities issued permits for the construction of 8,283 flats in new apartment buildings, the remaining ones fell on flats in family houses and ports. According to available CZSO statistics, the number of flats started in Prague last year was a record for the period since 1997. Only 2005 could compete, when the construction of 8124 flats began in the metropolis.
“After a very long time, we have a record, which certainly means the onset of a change in the atmosphere in the city, and given that the parameters offer parameters, we can expect an economic and cooling of the housing market in the medium term,” said Hlaváček. He also recalled the fact that last year the CZSO also registered almost 5,000 family houses in the Central Bohemian Region, where, unlike in Prague, similar numbers have been stable over the last ten years.
According to the deputy, the start of construction in large neglected areas, such as the former freight stations in Smíchov and Žižkov, has a positive effect on construction in Prague. He added that the construction was also unblocked by the fact that the city accelerated the approval of changes to the zoning plan, many of which lay with the municipality for years.
However, the new construction in the metropolis also has its critics. At the last meeting of city councilors, for example, some residents of Žižkov opposed the proposed new district at the former freight station there. According to them, the plans do not provide for sufficient civic amenities and they also did not like the fact that they do not seek to obtain a larger number of flats for rental housing from development companies. According to them, construction alone will not solve the housing crisis, because ordinary people no longer have a large part of them bought by investors, often from abroad.
At the meeting, the deputies approved the methodology for developers’ contributions to building infrastructure, specifically in the case of construction at the Žižkov Freight Station, according to Hlaváček, the municipality should receive about 1.5 billion crowns from companies. Prague is also preparing its own housing exhibition, for which purpose it has established the Prague Development Company (PDS). According to earlier information, it was entrusted with urban land with an area of about 400,000 square meters, on which it will be possible to build up to 6,000 flats for rental housing for people in need or representatives of supported professions within 10 to 15 years.