Avestus hands off to SHD plus conferences on hotels and rental resi

Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture

SHD Real Estate has been established as part of the restructuring of the Avestus Real Estate business. It will operated and managed by the original Prague-based Avestus Real Estate residential team. At the same time, Avestus will continue to focus on its existing commercial development portfolio (whose most recent addition is the Infinity office complex in Wroclaw. SHD will be led by David Kriz.

A special shout-out of congratulations to Zuzana Chudoba (an expert on the nascent rental residential market in the Czech Republic) and Michaela Pfeiferová (Real Estate Academy) for their remarkable work putting together the Renaissance in Rental Residential conference. You had to hurry home from Expo Real in Munich to catch the event, but the venue was full. And the timing of the event could hardly have been better, with sale prices going through the roof and rents still relatively undervalued. On top of this were the surprising parliamentary elections in Czechia and the hysteria coming from the toothless, anti-landlord referendum in Berlin. But this was a lot more than just a couple of standard panel discussion on the market’s potential. It was an almost exhausting explanation of current conditions filled with practical advice, insights and commentary.

Among the companies providing statistical analysis was Deloitte, which tracked Prague’s residential market from 2014 until 2020 in a newly released study. During that time, it found the city’s population had grown by 90,000 people while resi prices jumped 80%. Rents rose just 43% over the same period, while wages were 37% higher. The Deloitte study also revealed that just 11.46% of Prague households live on a lease basis, which is considerably less than in Warsaw, Amsterdam, Munich and Copenhagen (but more than Bratislava). The relative affordability of renting has been accompanied by an increase in the average of first-time buyers from 30 to 35 years. It noted that there are currently 8 projects being developed for the purpose of renting out the buildings and that the institutional market for rental appeared virtually overnight.

Personally, I found the shades of rhetoric to be among the most interesting aspects of the day, in part because it was so different than I was hearing the day before in Munich. Milan Krcek, who represents the owners of older apartment buildings in Prague, complained bitterly about the barriers he and his colleagues face in trying to extract property from their properties. By contrast, Stan Kubacek of Heimstaden was far more careful, claiming his company knows how to operated in a highly regulated environment. In Germany the big institutions claim in public that they’re very concerned and aware about questions of affordability. To put it bluntly, that’s far less of a concern here in Prague, where top managers tend to accuse Czech consumers of acting “irrationally” by dreaming of owning, rather then renting.

Finally, the International Business Forum (IBF) in Prague is holding a seminar entitled “Hospitality in Crisis’ to explore the state of the sector. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 10 at the Mlynec Restaurant in Prague 1 beginning from 9:30. The program will run through 14:30, with speakers exploring the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the hotel and tourism sector. Speakers include include Sanjiv Suri (Zatisi Group) and Lenka Zlebkova (Prague Congress Centre). As seating is limited, anyone interested should register ASAP at www.ibforum.cz.


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