Czechs are still afraid of cooperative housing. It is the preferred form of ownership for only 3% of those who plan to buy a flat or house, while 13% do not even consider it when buying a property. However, due to the rise in mortgage rates and property prices, cooperative housing is more affordable and thus 22% of respondents have recently improved their opinion on it, according to a survey by Komerční banka and Modrá pyramida, a building society.
Interest in co-operative housing fell by more than 3 percentage points between 2009 and 2018 in the Czech Republic, but rising house prices are quickly bringing it back into play. "It is significantly easier to buy a cooperative apartment than other types of ownership. The buyer usually needs only 20-30% of the property's value to buy it, the rest is secured by the housing cooperative with the help of a bank loan, which is then repaid by the buyer," says Martin Sikora, product manager at Modrá pyramida.
Being in a cooperative is not attractive, but it is the only chance
According to a current survey by Modrá pyramida, Czechs who are planning to buy a property would prefer to buy one in private ownership (in 88% of cases). Only 3% would prefer cooperative housing, mainly respondents from larger cities. "If people want to buy a property, they want to own it, to have it. Co-operative housing is a legally complicated form of ownership for them and they don't trust it very much. There are a lot of myths and stories about co-operatives floating around the internet. It's a pity, though, because legally it is a very stable institution and once the statutes are well written, the functioning of a cooperative is absolutely trouble-free," explains Martin Sikora. His words are confirmed by the results of the survey, according to which the need to own property is the most common reason for rejecting cooperative ownership, perceived by 64% of respondents with this attitude. This is followed by distrust in this type of ownership (at 40%) and bad experiences, mostly vicariously (40%).
Attitudes toward cooperative housing are changing, but slowly
The ever-decreasing availability of flats is forcing prospective buyers to look for co-operatively owned properties. "Better affordability is clearly the main reason for changing attitudes towards cooperative housing compared to owner-occupied housing. This is of course compounded by the lack of supply of other housing. To put it simply, when there is a shortage, those interested will give up their demands," adds Martin Sikora. 60% of respondents have changed their attitude towards cooperative housing in the last year, 37% of them for the better. 22% of respondents would now be willing to buy cooperative housing.
About the survey
The survey on cooperative housing was conducted by Modrá pyramida using Ipsos' Instant Research tool. Data was collected online between 9-15 December 2021 from a total of 525 respondents. The respondents were aged 18-65 and planning to buy a property.
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