Wednesday, 16 April 2014

LN: Number of Czechs who buy real estate abroad on the rise

18 January 2013

Prague, Jan 17 (CTK) - More and more Czechs buy real estate abroad either in an effort to safely invest money or because they are attracted by the prices that are record low in some cases, Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday, adding that some 50,000 Czechs own real estate abroad now, according to estimates.

In the past, buying real estate abroad amounted to luxury that only a narrow group of the richest Czechs could afford, but in the meantime it has become accessible to the middle-class as well, the daily writes.

First, people seek ways to invest safely their savings. Second, they use the record low prices of real estate in some countries, such as those experiencing a mortgage crisis, LN writes.

For example, in Spain the prices of flats and houses have fallen by up to a half since 2007, and in Florida, the USA, by one-third on average, the paper says.

In some cases, however, the prices plummeted by up to 70 percent and more. This mainly concerns the flats and houses that banks confiscated from their clients failing to pay off their mortgages due to the economic recession, LN writes.

Some Czechs offer their villas in Florida for rent, it says.

Czechs also buy real estate in Croatia, Italy, Greece, on the French Riviera and in Bulgaria.

"Our clients include company directors, managers, lawyers, distrainers and also self-employed people, an elementary school teacher and old-age pensioners," says Martin Pinl, manager of the Alexandria Real company that mediates the sales of foreign real estate.

Czechs prefer buying flats and houses at the seaside. They also show interest in flats situated in mountains, mainly in the neighbouring Austria and Slovakia.

Agents say the situation is favourable for buying real estate abroad. Nevertheless, they warn that in some countries, in Spain for example, the final costs may be higher than supposed in view of the local system of taxes and fees.

Buying real estate in Croatia is extremely advantageous but also risky as many of the houses for sale have been built or reconstructed without a construction permit or official supervision and certificate, and need not correspond to the situation presented in the cadastre, agents warn.

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