News Article Czech Republic developer development interview SFG Holding
by Vera Tumova | Interview

Slowly, the residential market should "normalize" and the classic buy/sell market will revive again due to the reduction of interest rates, but this will not happen before the end of this year and the end of summer 2024, explained in an interview for Property Forum Tereza Kouklová, Managing Partner at SFG Holding. 

You have been operating in the Czech real estate market as a holding company since 2019. What preceded the establishment of your company?

The story began in 2012 when Finin Group was founded to provide investments and help clients achieve financial independence and stability. We set out to offer stable and sensible investments that we ourselves believe in based on transparency. In 2014, we merged with Success Group to gradually expand into other areas such as real estate services, project management and development. SFG Holding was formed in 2019 by the merger of these two separate companies with their founders Tereza Kouklová and Michal Dědek behind them.

What is the focus of SFG Holding? What part of the market and services do you focus on?

SFG has been a partner in financing and securing investments in real estate, development, entrepreneurship, and startups since 2019. SFG Holding's completed projects include the reconstruction of the Gotthard Yard apartment building in Prague's Bubenec district, the reconstruction of the Nemesis apartment building in Kralupy nad Vltavou, and the Plzeňská starter flats project in Prague's Smíchov district.

Tereza Kouklová

Tereza Kouklová

Managing Partner
SFG Holding

At SFG holding a.s. Tereza leads the development division and the DCM department, where she provides financing and individual credit advisory for corporate clients. During her more than 12 years of experience, she has helped not only hundreds of families to finance their housing, but also many companies to finance their real estate or other projects, startups, and other business plans. She focuses on loans of up to tens of millions of EURs, non-standard loans and loans for foreign entities operating in the Czech Republic. More »

What do you think is the current situation in the Czech market for small developers? And what are the key problems of the real estate market from your point of view?

We are now seeing major changes in the property development and real estate market, and 2023 was marked by new trends. People were moving to smaller and cheaper rental or co-operative apartments to manage their situation financially, bringing them closer to Western-style living. Smaller developers were canning their projects and continuing to wait to see how the current situation with interest rates, inflation, the war in Ukraine and energy prices would develop. Some of them will be forced to sell their projects under time pressure. Larger and more stable players, adding more rental projects to their portfolios, gradually changed their investment strategies. Slowly, the real estate market should also "normalize" and the classic buy/sell will revive again due to the reduction of interest rates, but in my opinion, this will not happen before the end of this year and the end of summer 2024.

Building in big cities, especially in Prague, is challenging even for big developers. Where do you see room for smaller companies?

A number of development projects are being built outside the main cities and their surroundings. Rental units are being built practically everywhere and the structure of the real estate market is slowly changing. Co-operative flats are also coming to the fore. People are looking for cheaper forms of housing that they will be able to manage financially, and cooperative housing may be one of them. Developers are already reacting to this by purposefully building projects intended for cooperative ownership with smaller housing units to keep prices as low as possible. For example, the younger generation often does not have sufficient savings, and the option of small flats in cooperative ownership may be an interesting alternative to purchasing their own or rental housing for this target group. It seems that the path towards Western habits is inevitable.

Real estate is a business dominated by men. How would you summarise your experience in the industry as a woman?

In an ideal world, of course, people would be judged only on their abilities and work achievements, but let's face it, the reality is different. As a woman, I can only see so many advantages in a man's business. As a woman I can represent, I enjoy fashion and interior design, I notice maybe a little more detail, and that's beneficial to both parties.