The rubber stamps at Czech construction offices have been busier this year than they have been in more than a decade. As of July, developers had secured construction permits for more than 8,000 flats, which is just 1,000 short of last year’s total. It’s also the highest number since 2008, writes Hospodářské noviny, whose article pivots quickly to squash any green shoots of optimism that state officials are working more quickly. One of the possible reasons for the burst of activity could be that a number of projects delayed for years had finally been given the go-ahead.
The situation is best illustrated in Prague, where a sudden burst of bureaucratic activity is both welcome and woefully inadequate. For the first time since 2008, writes HN, construction offices in the capital approved permits for more than 700 flats two months in a row. And in the first seven months of the year, 3,108 units have been approved. That’s just 100 shy of the total for all of 2020. The problem is that years of undersupply of apartments in Prague mean that developers would have to build 10,000 per year is most estimates put satisfy growing demand. According to the developers Skanska Reality, Trigema and Central Group, 4,750 flats were sold during the first half of 2021. In 2020 it was 2,400 for the same time period while in 2019, the figure was 2,500.
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