It’s back to the drawing board for the investor RT Torax, whose project Ostrava Tower raised eyebrows and the hopes of skyscraper fans across the country. RT’s spokesman Jindřich Vaněk says the company still wants to build a highrise, but may have to reduce its ambitions from 230 meters to something over 100 meters. Negotiations with the city had been based on a study by the Chybik+Krištof studio. What appears to be taking shape is the holding of an international architectural competition in May for a 2-tower structure. The official reason that the tower won’t be built as originally drawn is geological, says Vaněk: the ground beneath the building simply can’t support the structure. The idea for the new design is that the two towers spread their weight through a single, connecting base at the bottom. A winner of the competition could be known by the end of the year.
The number of flats sold in Prague last year fell 58% from 7,450 in 2021 to just 3,100. But the Czech National Bank’s hard line against inflation wasn’t the only cause of the collapse. “One of the factors was the fall of the mortgage market, which was caused by higher interest rates,” says Jana Panochová, a senior consultant at Lexxus Norton. “However, the fundamental breaking point was the war in Ukraine, which led to the freezing of the residential market for several months as people concentrated mostly on geopolitical and financial uncertainty.” She says that sale prices have climbed out of reach for so many people that demand for rental units rose 63%, with rents jumping by 22%. However, director Denisa Višňovská says that there’s been a turnaround in sales since the end of 2022, as demand is up 20%. Prices have stopped rising, while inefficient homes and those in less popular locations are actually falling in price.
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