02. October 2019
After a quiet summer season, the Svoboda & Williams real estate agency once again expanded its staff. The Property Management and Marketing departments as well as the Analytics Team all have new members, and new colleagues have been welcomed in the Residential Sales, Residential Rentals, and Commercial Leasing departments.
New Senior Property Manager Petra Řehořková began working in the Property Management Department at the beginning of September. She is a graduate of the University of Economics, Prague with a degree in Business Economics and Management. She has extensive experience in real estate management and worked in this capacity for 2 years in Bohemian Estates. Petra is also well versed in financial analysis. Pavlína Paštová has been our new digital marketing specialist since September. She has a degree in Anglophone Studies from the Metropolitan University Prague and previously worked as a Social Media Manager in GLAMI. This October, Pavel Zadina joined Svoboda & Williams as the agency’s new analyst. He recently held the same position at the Arendon Development Company. Pavel graduated from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague and lived in Iceland for several months.
The Residential Sales team also expanded at the end of the summer. Jana Kociánová joined the team as a Sales Representative. She studied international business and international relations at the University of Economics, Prague. In addition to English and German, she is an advanced speaker of French. For the last three years, she worked as a marketing manager and also spent several years working in interior design. Kelly Buiová is the newest Letting Representative in the Residential Rentals Department. She has a degree in Human Resources from Newton College Prague and previously worked in production and business development before joining Svoboda & Williams. Aneta Krubnerová recently began working in the Commercial Leasing Department. She studied journalism and new media at the Academy of Journalism, and is an experienced editor and copywriter.
Ester Macháčková is the new receptionist at myhive Flexi Offices, managed by Svoboda & Williams. Ester speaks English and Vietnamese, and has worked as a makeup artist and English teacher.
26. September 2019
The 20th annual international conference CEDEM 2019 took place on September 25th at the Slovanský dům in Prague. The Svoboda & Williams real estate agency was one of the more than two dozen participants that took part in its 6 panel discussions, focusing on the hottest topics and trends in the current Central and Eastern European real estate market across all segments.
The experts addressed the current state of the global economy, which many find difficult to grasp due to recent changes. Despite a number of negative factors, such as Brexit, a stagnant industrial sector, and the overall slowdown and uncertainty in global markets, economists in the Czech Republic are not expecting a major recession or real estate prices to fall significantly. In fact, they are projecting prices to rise further. One of the topics discussed by the panelists was the great potential of rental housing in Prague. With rising property prices, fewer and fewer people can afford to live “in their own place.” However, Prokop Svoboda, owner of Svoboda & Williams, pointed out that this is a natural development that does not necessarily have to be negative. Svoboda believes the greater threats to be the mortgages that a large part of the population will be saddled with as well as rent regulation. The current situation, when owning residential property in Prague is becoming a luxury, reflects a well-balanced Czech real estate market. Any direct interference could tip it in the wrong direction.
12. September 2019
At the end of the summer, construction work commenced on the second phase of the Trio Harrachov project, which is beautifully situated in the heart of the Krkonoše Mountains. Units in the Amálie and Beáta apartment houses are now on sale and the project’s exclusive agent is the Svoboda & Williams real estate agency.
The Trio Harrachov alpine residential project consists of three five-story residences situated in a peaceful valley of the Kamenice River. Together with the start of construction work on the second phase of the project, the sale of apartments in the Amálie and Beáta apartment houses has been launched. Both houses together contain 30 apartments with one-bedroom to two-bedroom layouts that face either south or southeast. The units will be sold in a finished state that is completed to a high standard and will offer lovely views of the picturesque Krkonoše countryside. The completion of the two remaining residences is scheduled for December 2021.
More information on the Trio Harrachov project.
08. September 2019
At the beginning of August, the announcement of the Danish Jyske Bank, which decided to offer a ten-year mortgage with a −0.5% interest rate to potential homeowners, resonated throughout the global financial market. At the same time, Nordea Bank unveiled its offer of a twenty-year home loan with a zero interest rate. If foreign financial institutions are slowly starting to go down this path, we can expect to see similar practices in the Czech Republic.
Upon examination of these negative interest rates, things might not be so black and white once all of the bank charges and fees have been added. Jyske Bank itself emphasized that this type of mortgage is not intended to finance an entire property. But the fact of the matter is that interest rates on loans continue to decline, even in the Czech Republic. If the surrounding markets will follow the worldwide trend of zero or sub-zero interest rates, the Czech National Bank (the local regulator) will have a hard time resisting them. And as interest rates decrease, real estate prices are likely to increase.
But there are two sides to every coin, and this is true for negative interest rates as well. As mortgage interest rates go down, banks will increasingly demand better collateral, which will have a negative impact on demand. This development in capital markets indicates that well-secured home loans with negative interest rates are gradually becoming a safe investment.
15. August 2019
Svoboda & Williams’ Latest Market Report Looks Back on the Half-Year Performance of the Premium Residential Market in Prague
The Svoboda & Williams real estate agency has published its third Market Report. The recent developments in the premium segment of the Prague residential property market are once again summarized in a practical overview, together with key trends in the first half of 2019.
The Market Report analyzes the data on sales and rental transactions that are generated by the activities of the Svoboda & Williams real estate agency. Together with property sales figures from the cadaster of real estate with parameters that fit into the portfolio of Svoboda & Williams, we developed a comprehensive overview of the current sales and rental prices on the Prague premium residential market. The price analysis also includes a summary of the demand and supply of properties in this segment of the market as well as commentary from agents of Svoboda & Williams. The Market Report has a section entitled Focus, which examines various topics associated with the real estate market. This time, its subject is Nusle – a neighborhood that is currently undergoing a major transformation.
Svoboda & Williams noted the following trends in the premium residential segment in the first half-year of 2019:
- demand is stagnant and is returning to the level prior to the outbreak of the purchasing euphoria of 2017
- average achieved prices of premium apartments have stayed more or less the same as in 2018
- prolonged approval processes, an insufficient construction workforce, and rising construction prices continue to slow down the completion of new residential projects
- almost half of the monitored projects are reconstructions of older apartment buildings
- demand continues to be strong
- the achieved rents of premium apartments increased slightly, year-on-year growth was 3.8%
- in Prague, rental yields are 2-3% and are even higher in Brno and the countryside
- Czech tenants are increasingly moving up into higher price segments and are slowly catching up to foreigners
- the number of rental housing projects rose only slightly
A detailed analysis of sales prices and rents on the Prague premium property market based solely on realized and not offered prices is a traditional component of the Market Report. For this purpose, Svoboda & Williams created the analytical tool The Rental Price Index by S&W + VŠE in cooperation with the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, University of Economics in Prague.
09. August 2019
A team of agents from Svoboda & Williams participated in the fifth annual beach volleyball charity cup, which took place on August 7th, 2019. The event was organized by the JLL consultancy company and was held at Žluté lázně. A total of 29 teams made up of professionals from the Czech real estate market competed in the tournament.
A grand total of CZK 270,000 was raised by the Czech Real Estate Charity Beach Volleyball Tournament 2019. The proceeds will go to the Sun for Everyone Endowment Fund, which offers a wide range of educational and social services for children and adults with special needs. The fund organizes psychiatric rehabilitation stays, purchases special equipment, and provides nursing care, therapeutic workshops, and many other activities.
12. July 2019
In terms of personnel, this summer was a time of growth for the real estate agency, both in Prague and in Brno. Svoboda & Williams welcomed new members to the Residential Sales, Residential Rentals, and Commercial Leasing departments, and the Marketing and Investment Management departments have also expanded their staff. The Brno branch now has a new Business Development Manager.
Kateřina Kubíčková joined the Residential Sales Department in June as a Junior Agent. She has an engineering degree and previously worked for 18 years in human resources and office management. Kateřina speaks English fluently. David Čermák is the latest member of the Residential Rentals team. He studied photography in college in České Budějovice, and until recently was the Deputy Manager of the Bibloo Concept Store. The Commercial Leasing Department welcomed Monika Dixová, who has experience in journalism and was also in charge of several of her own projects. She is currently training for her first marathon.
Tereza Šimerdová, who has been working for Svoboda & Williams since 2017 as an assistant in the Commercial and Analytics team, joined the Marketing Department as a Project Manager in July. Klára Zemanová began working in the Investment Management Department. She has a degree in economics and management from the Czech University of Life Sciences and worked for two years as a financial accountant.
David Kočařík is the newest member of the Brno team and has been in charge of the branch’s business development since June. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Business Management at the Brno University of Technology, with a degree in economics and management. David also has 13 years of experience in construction; he first worked as a technician, then as a building site manager, project manager, and finally as the chief executive officer of a construction company. Besides his native Czech, David is also an advanced speaker of German.
The Prague branch of Svoboda & Williams also acquired a new assistant in July. Božena Maršíková is currently studying creative marketing at the University of Creative Communication. She also enjoys skiing, which she occasionally teaches.
28. June 2019
Agents of Svoboda & Williams have increasingly been coming across the claim that the average price of an apartment in Prague is currently almost CZK 110,000/sq. m. When real estate owners then sell their properties, they set astronomical starting prices that don’t seem to correspond to reality. Newspaper headlines proclaim these high numbers, but don’t explain the difference between the asking price and the actual achieved price.
According to the current data collected by Deloitte, the average asking price of a new apartment in Prague is CZK 107,100/sq. m. However, this figure only includes newly built residential projects and starting prices, which don’t include any reductions or subsequent special offers. In reality, the asking price is often quite different from the actually achieved price. This is doubly true in today’s decline in demand for real estate and the increasing rate of discounts offered by developers. Deloitte’s regularly published so-called Prague Real Index factors in the average price of a realized real estate transaction, which it acquires from the cadastre of real estate, and includes prices of older resale properties as well. In fact, the average actually achieved sales price is currently CZK 77,400/sq. m. This is the number that Prague apartment owners should consider when they are thinking about how much to sell their property for. Or even rent it out for, since this misunderstanding of the market also influences how property owners establish adequate rental prices.
The Svoboda & Williams real estate agency maps the premium property segment, which has a higher average achieved price – currently around CZK 112,000/sq. m., with a median value of CZK 103,000/sq. m. Properties at the very top of the real estate pyramid are significantly pushing average prices upward.
23. June 2019
Construction of the U Hájenky residential project has commenced on a plot of land near the Lipno Reservoir. On this previously empty meadow, 15 modern houses inspired by typical Šumava cottages that will consist of two separate apartment units with a terrace and garden will gradually be built. The exclusive seller of the apartments is the Svoboda & Williams real estate agency.
The U Hájenky apartments will allow new owners the chance to live amid the beautiful South Bohemian countryside right next to the popular Lipno Reservoir and only 100 meters away from the new Loučovice ski slope. These apartments can be used and enjoyed year-round, and are therefore an excellent investment opportunity. The U Hájenky project also offers property management services that include taking care of any rental responsibilities as well as grass cutting and snow clearing.
The individual eco-friendly passive semi-detached houses are built according the Austrian STEICO construction system with a maximum emphasis on a healthy environment for future residents. Each house will feature superior insulation properties. The units are sold in a finished state, which can be upgraded to a premium standard.
More information about the U Hájenky project.
13. May 2019
Earlier this spring, Svoboda & Williams added several new faces to its team. The Marketing, Property Management, and Residential Rentals departments all welcomed new members, and the Prague office has a new receptionist.
Sára Goldbergerová, a graduate of the Faculty of Humanities at the Charles University, is the newest member of the Marketing team. She has been a copywriter for Svoboda & Williams since the end of 2018, and became its PR Manager in March 2019.
The Property Management Division hired Jana Rýznarová and Ilona Fanfrdlová, both to the position of Senior Property Manager. Jana studied English and Applied Economics at the Palacký University in Olomouc, and she speaks French and Italian. She has been working in real estate for more than 3 years. Ilona acquired a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Human Resources from the Masaryk University. For 9 years, she was in charge of Facility Management for the British Embassy.
The new Letting Representative in the Residential Rentals team is Andrea Hladíková. She is a graduate of the University of Economics in Prague and she holds a diploma in the Principle of Interior Design and Decoration from the London Inchbald School of Design. She helped found the VIP Photo Booth company, based in South Africa, where she worked as Business and Marketing Director.
In April, Barbora Šudomová became the main receptionist in our Prague office. She studied Hotel Management and Tourism, and lived for a time in Italy, where she learned to speak Italian fluently.