Most foreigners seeking Czech real estate come from the US and Germany

Interest from people outside the Czech Republic in real estate has been rising; here some buyers trends by nationality

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 15.09.2020 07:18 (updated on 15.09.2020)

Most foreigners interested in Czech real estate come from the US, Germany and Slovakia. The vast majority of people viewing advertisements on real estate portals are Czechs, but about 7% are foreigners, according to a survey by news server Lidovky.cz.

The largest Czech real estate portal, Sreality.cz, currently has almost 76,000 offers to buy or rent real estate throughout the Czech Republic. Listings there can be searched not only in Czech, but also in Russian and English.

Over 92 percent of all people who view their listings are in the Czech Republic. Visitors from outside most often came from the US, Germany, and Slovakia, followed the United Kingdom, Russia and Austria.

In a year-on-year comparison, Sreality.cz saw a significant increase in interest from Italy, Slovakia, and Russia. On the contrary, the number of clicks from people in Germany and Ukraine decreased significantly. Most interest is for purchasing, not rental.

The Bezrealitky.cz portal, which also an English option and over 8,000 advertisements directly from property owners, said about 5% its visitors came from abroad. In this case, foreign visitors most often come from Slovakia, the US and Germany.

Statistics from consulting company Deloitte show similar numbers. From April 2019 to April 2020, 14,321 standard sales of residential real estate took place in Prague, with 61% of the buyers were natural persons and 7% percent of them were foreigners, according to Deloitte real estate expert Petr Hána.

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Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 55m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 55m2

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Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 67m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 67m2

Na spojce, Praha 10 - Vršovice

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Office for rent, 104m2

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The share of foreign buyers has been between 5% and 7% has been stable since 2014, and most interest is focused on Prague, he added.

“Buyers from Western Europe prefer larger apartments in older housing developments in the center of Prague, while buyers from Eastern Europe prefer new developments in specific locations in the wider center of Prague,” Hána said.

Bezrealitky.cz, which mainly has rental listings, says demand is strong and focuses mainly on Prague. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of foreigners looking for housing in Prague increased by about 25%, with managers and entrepreneurs showing the most interest.

The portal also reports differences among what nationalities seek.

Americans and British want a family house with a garden in a good neighborhood. People from Spain are more interested in social life and don’t mind unrenovated apartments. The French favor small spaces, even cellars or attics that have a distinctive feel. Russians are more willing to accept flats in panel housing. Germans and Dutch look for greenery and quiet, clean surroundings, and good access to the center by bike.

There has also been a large increase in interest from foreign students. According to data from the EU’s student exchange program Erasmus, the number of students coming to the Czech Republic has increased 30% in the past four years, and now reaches over 11,000 students.

Expat.cz’s own real estate portal showed the highest interest by foreigners coming from the US, which accounted for 16% of traffic, followed by people from the UK at 10%. There was a significant gap before Germans, at 3.5%, followed by Canadians at 2.5% and Poles at 2%. People from India, the Netherlands and France all were at 1.5% and Ireland was at 1.3%. Czechs accounted for 26% of users.

Based on traffic broken down by origin, Europe accounted for just over two-thirds. The Americas were next, with just over one-fifth, or 20.41%. Asia was the source of 8.45% of traffic. Interest from Oceania and Africa was quite low, at 1.61% and 1.23%, respectively.

According to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ), at the end of March this year, over 604,000 foreigners lived in the Czech Republic, with 210,000 in Prague. Last year the population of the Czech Republic increased the most in the last 11 years, by more than 44,000 people due largely to the influx of foreigners.