President Václav Klaus’ repeated criticism of the Constitutional Court peaked with its recent findings on the taxing of so-called construction savings societies. “The Constitutional Court’s behavior is outside of the Constitution and it has entered the sphere of pure politics,” Klaus said, accusing the court of judicial activism. Most lawyers polled by Czech Position don’t see it that way.
Czech Property Investments (CPI) has applied to the Office for the Protection of Competition (ÚOHS) for approval to take over seven real estate units owned by PPF Group’s Cyprus-based Tenacity Ltd. The report further stated that ÚOHS has already taken the case under consideration and will deal with the question of office space rental.
RPG Real Estate residential portfolio director Pavel Klimeš says that the rents charged by his company fall ‘comfortably within’ the ranges on the new rent price maps. While the company doesn’t rely on maps for setting prices, they helped to show some hold-out tenants that the rents were reasonable. Instead of the thousands of lawsuits once predicted over rent increases, he foresees only a few hundred.
Investment deals in Central and Eastern Europe real estate totaled approximately €1.85 billion in Q1 2011, according to a report by property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle. The transactions were spread across the office (over 40 percent), retail (28 percent) and industrial (26 percent) sectors and almost tripled the first quarter investment totals from 2010.
State-controlled power utility ČEZ is seeking to offload three of its administrative buildings, preferring to rent than own, but some sale conditions — and a legal battle in the background — signal that the properties may sell at below market price. Speculation is swirling that one interested bidder is an investor with close links to ČEZ management, who is pursuing the deal through an offshore company.
The wave of Czech and Slovak acquisitions carried out by Czech Property Investment (CPI) Group over the past 18 months is continuing, with the acquisition of 14 regional retail properties in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. CPI bought the nearly 50,000 sqm of retail property from Austrian development group Real4You for Kč 1.6 billion.
Some 60,000 trade licenses have been issued to real estate agents in the Czech Republic, and some 3,500 to 4,000 agencies are operating on the market. Yet virtually anyone can do business in this sector, which has no strong professional organization overseeing it, with an unenforceable ethical code the one thing governing the behavior of Czech real estate agents. The result: the customer is not king.
Office vacancy in Prague has dropped to 12.97 percent in Q1 2011, according to the latest Prague City Report by property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle. With the development slowdown caused by the financial crisis still resulting in a low amount of new supply, growing demand has contributed to further drops in the vacancy rate.
The Education Ministry last week celebrated having landed the right to host a Kč 6.7 billion EU super laser project — which should result in valuable spin-offs for the Czech scientific and research community, as well as industry. But the joy was tempered because the asking price for the Dolní Břežany plot where it is to be built is disputed — and the ministry has little time to find a solution.
The Defense Ministry has scaled back plans from 2003 to sell dozens of Prague properties, with just two buildings now slated for sale, the Jan Žižka barracks and Invalidovna, both in Prague 8–Karlín. The buildings will be offered to other state institutions, and while the Faculty of Arts of Charles University has shown interest in the barracks, the Supreme Audit Office is another possibility.